Fathers in Heaven, Adoption

"These things I feel to tell you beforehand that you may always be ready for your duty, for at this time I need the best of friends to stand by me and on this occasion I would like to know of you all by your answering, "Yes" or "No". "Are you willing to lay down your lives for me?" (pause) When the answer was with a unanimous voice, "Yes." "I am your father shall I not be your father?" When all with one exclamation said, "Yes", when again he said then "I am willing to lay down my life for you and if innocent blood is spilt on this occasion (drawing his sword out of its scabbard and raised it above his head,) I will call upon the gods to bear witness of this. I will draw my sword and it shall never be sheathed again until vengeance is taken upon all your enemies and I will call upon the Eternal in your defense, the winds with the whirlwinds, though thunders and the lightnings, and the hailstorms. The heavens shall tremble and with earthquakes shall the earth be shaken. And the seas heaving themselves beyond their bounds, these things shall be brought to bear against your enemies for your preservation, as the people of the Lord.

"We have given up our arms, and they have taken away your right of protection, by our city charter; and now they desire that I shall surrender myself into their hands, which I have consented to do. I only go to return to you again. With his blessing upon us we were dismissed to go home."  (Joseph Smith, Pace, William Bryan, 1832-1907, Autobiography (1832-1847), Chapter One- Birth and Boyhood)

 

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"The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows:—If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory, and go ahead, and not go back, but use a little wisdom, and seal all you can, and when you get to heaven tell your Father that what you seal on earth should be sealed in heaven, according to his promise. I will walk through the gate of heaven and claim what I seal, and those that follow me and my counsel." (Joseph Smith, TPJS Section 6, p. 340)

Notice Joseph refers to others holding the sealing power, and gives himself as an example of one who holds it and seals.

"Joseph understood when the authority is given to any couple who's calling and election is sure, they were expected to use it to secure for themselves their kingdom." (Denver Snuffer, Beloved Enos, ch. 11, p. 147)

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"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." (Isaiah 9:6, 2 Nephi 19:6)

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"And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace." (Genesis 14:25–40, Inspired Version)

"But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father." (Alma 13:18)

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Abraham seeks to know God

"And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers." (Abraham 1:2)

"Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee." (Abraham 2:12)

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"The scriptures are a mixture of very strange doctrines to the Christian world, who are blindly led by the blind. I will refer to another scripture. "Now," says God, when He visited Moses in the bush, (Moses was a stammering sort of a boy like me) God said, "Thou shalt be a God unto the children of Israel." God said, "Thou shalt be a God unto Aaron, and he shall be thy spokesman." I believe those Gods that God reveals as Gods to be sons of God, and all can cry, "Abba, Father!" Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even from before the foundation of the world, and are the only Gods I have a reverence for." (Joseph Smith, HC 6:23, p. 478)

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Adoption and a new name

"Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be called Abraham; for, a father of many nations have I made thee." (Genesis 17:9, Inspired Version)

"And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be." (Genesis 17:15)

"And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." (John 1:42)

"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." (Rev 2:17)

"And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel." (Genesis 35:10)

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (Revelation 3:12)

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"But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Paul, Galatians 4:4-7)

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"The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;  While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand." (D&C 122 1-2)

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The Savior appears in the midst of a congregation, Joseph seals them to him

"The Smith family was driven from New York, and a small church had been organized. Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer, and Ziba Peterson were members. Well, I being anxious, though young, to learn about the plates from those who knew all about it, my mother and I went up to the Smith family the next night after they came to Kirtland. As I went in, there were two or three others present. They were all there, from the old gentleman and his wife to all the sons and daughters. As we stood there talking to them, Joseph and Martin Harris came in. Joseph looked around very solemnly. It was the first time some of them had ever seen him.

"Said he, ‘There are enough here to hold a little meeting.’ They got a board and put it across two chairs to make seats. Martin Harris sat on a little box at Joseph's feet. They sang and prayed. Joseph got up and began to speak to us. As he began to speak very solemnly and very earnestly, all at once his countenance changed and he stood mute. Those who looked at him that day said there was a search light within him, over every part of his body. I never saw anything like it on the earth. I could not take my eyes off him; he got so white that anyone who saw him would have thought he was transparent. I remember I thought I could almost see the cheek bones through the flesh. I have been through many changes since but that is photographed on my brain. I shall remember it and see in my mind's eye as long as I remain upon the earth.

"He stood some moments. He looked over the congregation as if to pierce every heart. He said, ‘Do you know who has been in your midst?’ One of the Smiths said an angel of the Lord. Martin Harris said, ‘It was our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’ Joseph put his hand down on Martin and said: "God revealed that to you. Brethren and sisters, the Spirit of God has been here. The Savior has been in your midst this night and I want you to remember it. There is a veil over your eyes for you could not endure to look upon Him. You must be fed with milk, not with strong meat. I want you to remember this as if it were the last thing that escaped my lips. He has given all of you to me and has sealed you up to everlasting life that where he is, you may be also. And if you are tempted of Satan say, 'Get behind me, Satan.'"

"These words are figured upon my brain and I never took my eye off his countenance. Then he knelt down and prayed. I have never heard anything like it before or since. I felt that he was talking to the Lord and that power rested down upon the congregation. Every soul felt it. The spirit rested upon us in every fiber of our bodies, and we received a sermon from the lips of the representative of God." (Mary Lightner 1905 Address, typescript, BYU)

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"And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I will establish my covenant with you, which I made unto your father Enoch, concerning your seed after you.

"And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant, which I made unto thy father Enoch; that, when men should keep all my commandments, Zion should again come on the earth, the city of Enoch which I have caught up unto myself.

"And this is mine everlasting covenant, that when thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy; And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come. And this is mine everlasting covenant, which I made with thy father Enoch." (Genesis 9:21, Inspired Version)

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Angel Moroni to Joseph

"Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.  And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.  If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming." (Moroni, D&C 2)

 

Christ quotes Malachi to the Nephites

"For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.  But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of Hosts.

"Remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Christ, 3 Nephi 25)

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Adoption confusion

"The period after Taylor’s death in July 1887 appears to have been one of continued confusion regarding the law of adoption. Two months later in September 1887, John M. Whitaker, John Taylor’s son-in-law, wrote:

I went back to the office where I found [Apostle] Brother Lorenzo Snow and [First Council of the Seventy member] Jacob Gates. They conversed a long time. He finally entered into a deep subject on “The Law of Adoption.” Brother Gates said he didn’t believe in it as did also Brother Snow. He [?] referenced back to the time that Brigham Young was in Kirtland[;] he had a person asked him about it and he said “I know nothing about it.” President Taylor on one different occasion had a letter written to him for the following reason: it was [two undecipherable words] of Prophet J Smith or rather Sister Eliza R. Snow Smith (Brother Gates didn’t know which)[;] a about [sic] persons were adopted into President J Smith’s [family;] Sister Snow Smith said “she didn’t understand the law” but had no objections to them being sealed to her husband. And this led Brother Gates to write to President Taylor asking him if he knew anything about it. He never answered the letter. But on another occasion Brother Gates saw him and asked him plainly. President Taylor said he knew nothing about it. And also just lately when asked by Brother Snow, President WilfordWoodruff knew nothing about it. [“]It hadn’t been revealed to him.” I know this at this time to say [or show] a prevailing feeling among the Twelve that they don’t understand it. George [undecipherable]Cannon also said he didn’t understand it.

"...the idea of linking to Joseph Smith was eventually dismissed or forgotten." (Jonathan Stapley, Adoptive Sealing Ritual in Mormonism)

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"After Joseph comes to us in his resurrected body He will more fully instruct us concerning the Baptism for the dead & the sealing ordinances. He will say be baptized for this man & that man & that man be sealed to that man & such a man to such a man, and connect the Priesthood together."

"I tell you their will not be much of this done until Joseph comes. He is our spiritual Father. Our hearts are already turned to him and his to us. This [is] the order of the Holy Priesthood and we shall continue to administer in the ordinances of the kingdom of God here on Earth." (Brigham Young, Complete Discourses, Vol 2, p. 1034)

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"Therefore, when knowledge about adoption was lost, so was the chance to avoid destruction on the coming day when those who will return will burn them up.  On that day only those whose 'hearts are turned to the fathers,' and who are regarded as their children, and held in rememberance by the 'fathers,' will be able to endure glory that would otherwise 'burn them as stubble, leaving neither root nor branch.'

"Brigham Young confessed he did not understand the doctrine. Inexplicably, he taught these matters would be attended to and sorted out during the Millennium.  He knew it needed to be done, didn't know how to do it, and concluded that when Joseph returned through the resurrection, it would all be sorted out.

"The obvious defect in this approach is the pre-Millennial return of Christ, and the returning "fathers" to a body who has not prepared for their return in advance.  The preparation must precede the return. In other words, if they are unprepared, or not recognized as desendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through the sealing to the 'fathers' through Joseph Smith, they will be burned.  The Gospel was returned primarily to prepare a people for the retun. To say the preparation will happen sometime after the return, during the Millennium, suggests the coming day which will 'burn them up' is inconsequential, or can be ignored with impunity.

"In fourth phase Mormonism, Joseph's "adoption" theology has been converted into something altogether different. It is biological and genealogical, not priestly and dispensational. The church now markets itself as an institution that will 'strengthen families.' It does not inform its members, or prospective converts that the day will come they will be burned up unless they have connected to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through Joseph Smith as the Dispensation head in a necessary priestly ordinance." (Denver Snuffer, Passing the Heavenly Gift, ch. 18, p. 485-486)

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Brigham Young vision of Joseph (version 1)

"Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, 'Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.'" (Joseph Smith in vision to Brigham Young, 17 February 1847, in Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878, Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

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Brigham Young vision of Joseph (version 2)

"Council as usual There was not much done of interest except some remarks of President Young which I will give in short It is in relation to a spell of sickness he had had lately. He spoke as follows:

"Another subject which I wanted to speak of is this: On Wednesday morning I was taken ill and it has been asked if I had a vision I was taken so suddenly sick. Just as I was getting out of my bed that I could not go out. I tried to return to the bed again, but could not even get back. As to how I felt, No one can tell how I felt, until he dies and goes through the vail and when he does that he can then tell how I felt.

"All that I know, is what my wife told me about it since. She said that I said, I had been where Joseph & Hyrum was. And again that I said, it is hard coming to life again. But I know that I went to the world of spirits; but what I saw I know not, for the vision went away from me, as a dream which you loose when you awake.

"The next day I had a dream. I dreamed that I saw Joseph sitting in a room, in the South West corner, near a bright window. He sat in a chair, with his feet, both on the lower round. I took him by the hand and kissed him on both cheeks, and wanted to know why we could not be together, as we once was. He said that it was all right, that we should not be together yet. We must be separated for a season. I said it was hard to be separated from him. He said, it was all right and putting his feet down on the floor.

"Now all you who know, how he looks, when he used to give council, know all about, how he looked then. I told him that the Latter Day Saints was very anxious to know about the law of adoption, and the sealing powers &c and desired word of council from him.

"Joseph said; do you be sure and tell the people one thing. Do you be sure and tell the brethren that it is all important for them to keep the spirit of the Lord, To keep the quiet spirit of Jesus, and he explained how the spirit of the Lord reflected on the spirit of man and set him to pondering on any subject, and also explained how to know the spirit of the Lord from the spirit of the enemy.

"He said the mind of man must be open to receive all spirits, in order to be prepared, to receive the spirit of the Lord; otherwise it might be barred so as not to receive the spirit of the Lord, which always brings peace and makes one happy and takes away every other spirit. When the small still voice speaks always receive it, and if the people will do these things, when they come up to the father, all will be as in the beginning, and every person stand as at the first.

"I saw how we were organized before we took tabernacles and every man will be restored to that which he had then, and all will be satisfied. After this I turned away & saw Joseph was in the edge of the light; but where I had to go was as midnight darkness. He said I must go back, so I went back in the darkness.

"I want you all to remember my dream for I it is a vision of God and was revealed through the spirit of Joseph." (Joseph Smith in vision to Brigham Young, Minutes of Meeting at Winter Quarters, 28 February 1847, MS, Brigham Young Papers, Church Archives)

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"I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalms 2:7)

"So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 5:5-6)

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