"And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them." (3 Nephi 16:10)
"For there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood....But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God." (D&C 124:28, 31-32)
"And I would to God that this temple was now done, that we might go into it, and go to work and improve our time, and make use of the seals while they are on earth.
"The Saints have not too much time to save and redeem their dead, and gather together their living relatives, that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten, and the consumption decreed falls upon the world.
"I would advise all the Saints to go to with their might and gather together all their living relatives to this place, that they may be sealed and saved, that they may be prepared against the day that the destroying angel goes forth; and if the whole Church should go to with all their might to save their dead, seal their posterity, and gather their living friends, and spend none of their time in behalf of the world, they would hardly get through before night would come, when no man can work; and my only trouble at the present time is concerning ourselves, that the Saints will be divided, broken up, and scattered, before we get our salvation secure; for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes." (Joseph Smith referring to the still incomplete Nauvoo Temple 5 months before his death. HC v. 6, ch. 8, p. 184, Emphasis in original.)
"I heard Joseph say this: 'I have rolled this kingdom off of my shoulders onto the shoulders of the Twelve and they can carry out this work and build up His kingdom.' Said he, 'I am tired. I have been mobbed, I have suffered so much from outsiders and from my own family. Some of the brethren think they can carry out this work better than I can, far better. I have asked the Lord to take me away. I have to seal my testimony to this generation with my blood. I have to do it for this work will never progress until I am gone for the testimony is of no force until the testator is dead. People little know who I am when they talk about me, and they never will know until they see me weighed in the balance in the Kingdom of God. Then they will know who I am, and see me as I am. I dare not tell them and they do not know me.' These words were spoken with such power that they penetrated the heart of every soul that believed on him." (Mary Lightner, Address to Brigham Young University, 1905)
"Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died? All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels remained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek Priesthood and were ordained by God himself." (Joseph Smith, TPJS Section Four 1839-42, p.180)
The children of Israel did not behold the face of God, would not recieve a fulness. The lesser priesthood continued.
"Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel..." (D&C 84:23-27)
"I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me..."
"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually..." (D&C 1:30)
March 27, 1836
Kirtland temple dedicated, preceeded and followed by an outpouring of the Spirit including visions, prophecies, speaking in tongues, multiple peopel singing in harmony in tongues, babes opening their mouths, beholding of angles and visitations of Christ.
January 19, 1841
"But I command you, all ye my saints, to build a house unto me; and I grant unto you a sufficient time to build a house unto me; and during this time your baptisms shall be acceptable unto me. But behold, at the end of this appointment your baptisms for your dead shall not be acceptable unto me; and if you do not these things at the end of the appointment ye shall be rejected as a church, with your dead, saith the Lord your God....
"If ye labor with all your might, I will consecrate that spot that it shall be made holy.
"And if my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place. But if they will not hearken to my voice, nor unto the voice of these men whom I have appointed, they shall not be blest, because they pollute mine holy grounds, and mine holy ordinances, and charters, and my holy words which I give unto them.
"And it shall come to pass that if you build a house unto my name, and do not do the things that I say, I will not perform the oath which I make unto you, neither fulfil the promises which ye expect at my hands, saith the Lord. For instead of blessings, ye, by your own works, bring cursings, wrath, indignation, and judgments upon your own heads, by your follies, and by all your abominations, which you practice before me, saith the Lord....
"And again, verily I say unto you, I command you again to build a house to my name, even in this place, that you may prove yourselves unto me that ye are faithful in all things whatsoever I command you, that I may bless you, and crown you with honor, immortality, and eternal life. (D&C 124:31-32, 44-48, 55)
April 6, 1841
Corner stone laid.
June 24, 1844
Joseph's Death. Temple "half complete". Fulness of the priesthood is forfeited.
Exodus from Nauvoo begins.
First floor completed by small remaining crew. Temple is dedicated. Five years, four months from warning of rejection. No spiritual outpouring is recorded. Saints already experiencing cursings, wrath, indignation and judgements.
Temple catches fire.
Temple destroyed by tornado.
"The Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the Temple is completed, where places will be provided for the administration of the ordinances of the Priesthood....[I] calculate to organize the Church in its proper order as soon as the Temple is completed." (Joseph Smith, HC v. 4 ch. 35)
I heard in Elder's Quorum that it was not revealed how succession should take place.
D&C 43:1-7 and D&C 124:91-96 tell a different story. A reasonable reading of these verses state that Joseph would appoint a successor, and he did, it was Hyrum. Hyrum was taken also.
Even Brigham Young admits this: "Did Joseph Smith ordain any man to take his place? He did. Who was it? It was Hyrum..." (Brigham Young, Times & Seasons, October 15, 1844, Vol. 5, p. 683.)
Is it possible the saints did not complete the Nauvoo temple in the Lord's appointed "sufficient time" and thereby reap the consequences?