Friday, December 23, 2005

Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again

"Joseph Smith, America’s preeminent visionary and prophet, rose from a modest background to found the largest indigenous Christian church in American history. Without the benefit of wealth, education or social position, he published the 584-page Book of Mormon, when he was twenty-three; organized a church when he was twenty-four; and founded cities, built temples, and attracted thousands of followers before his violent death at age thirty-eight. Rather than perishing with him, Mormonism migrated to the Rocky Mountains, flourished there, and now claims millions of followers worldwide."

Rough Stone Rolling (Front Inside Jacket)

Today marks the 200th anniversary of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s birth. As the LDS Hymn Praise to The Man proclaims, “Millions shall know Brother Joseph again.” This year alone, untold millions have come to know Brother Joseph, for the first time, or again. From the hallowed halls of the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. millions learned about Brother Joseph at an international academic conference about the Worlds of Joseph Smith. Tonight, millions more shall know Brother Joseph again as the Church hosts a special world wide Joseph Smith Commemorative Broadcast to celebrate the anniversary of his birth.

From his earliest youth, Brother Joseph has been scorned, ridiculed, and persecuted for daring to proclaim the revealed Truth of Jesus Christ and His Gospel Restored in contrast to the corrupt theology and philosophies of men. The ridicule, scorn and hubris continues to this very day---see here, here, and here. If history is any guide, the persecution will continue this evening outside the LDS conference center as the faithful worldwide attend to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience, and as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. A fitting response:

THE ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;

2 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.

Brother Joseph paid dearly his entire life for his religious views, and the further light and knowledge he was commanded to teach a world wallowing in religious darkness, confusion and error. In early 1832, opposition to Joseph Smith turned very violent, and nearly cost The Prophet his life:

On Saturday March 24, 1832 Joseph was dragged from his bedroom in the dead of night. His attackers strangled him until he blacked out, tore off his shirt and drawers, beat and scratched him, and jammed a vial of poison against his teeth until it broke. After tarring and feathering his body, they left him for dead . . . Through the night, his friends scraped off the tar until his flesh was raw . . .

[D]uring the attack, Joseph was 'stretched on a board, and tantalized in the most insulting and brutal manner; they tore off the few night clothes that he had on, for the purpose of emasculating him, and had Dr. Dennison there to perform the operation; but when the Dr. saw the Prophet stripped and stretched on the plank, his heart failed him, and he refused to operate.' The mob apparently meant to castrate Joseph.
See Rough Stone Rolling pp. 178-79.

Why? Because he had seen visions, and had deigned to share further religious light and knowledge with a failed and fallen world.

Yet, despite the persecution, mobs, violence, and death, Christ's Kingdom continues its quest:

The akeys of the bkingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the cgospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the dstone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has efilled the whole earth.
And fill the earth it will with revealed Light and Knowledge from on High--Dispelling rumor, myth, and the lying tongues of centuries of religious and theological darkness. As my small part in the commemoration of Brother Joseph's birthday I want to leave just a few of my favorite Truths Christ has seen fit to reveal to man in these latter-days through His chosen Prophet of the Restoration. If you have others, (and I know there are many more) I invite you to leave them in the comments section.

Physicality of God the Father and Jesus Christ:

The aFather has a bbody of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of cSpirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not ddwell in us.

Opposition and Agency:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no apurpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the bjustice of God.

13 And if ye shall say there is ano law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not bthere is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and alearning; for there is a God, and he hath bcreated all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be cacted upon.

15 And to bring about his eternal apurposes in the end of man, after he had bcreated our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the cfowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the dforbidden efruit in fopposition to the gtree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should aact for himself. Wherefore, man could not bact for himself save it should be that he was centiced by the one or the other.

Adam's Fall:

21 And the days of the children of amen were prolonged, according to the bwill of God, that they might crepent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of dprobation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were elost, because of the transgression of their parents.

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no achildren; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no bjoy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no csin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who aknoweth all things.

25 aAdam bfell that men might be; and men care, that they might have djoy.

26 And the aMessiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may bredeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are credeemed from the fall they have become dfree forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the elaw at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are afree according to the bflesh; and call things are dgiven them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to echoose fliberty and eternal glife, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be hmiserable like unto himself.

Light, Truth and Intelligence:

21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the abeginning with the Father, and am the bFirstborn;

22 And all those who are begotten through me are apartakers of the bglory of the same, and are the cchurch of the Firstborn.

23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is aSpirit, even the Spirit of truth;

24 And atruth is bknowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;

25 And whatsoever is amore or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a bliar from the beginning.

26 The Spirit of atruth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He breceived a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;

27 And no man receiveth a afulness unless he keepeth his commandments.

28 He that akeepeth his commandments receiveth btruth and clight, until he is glorified in truth and dknoweth all things.

29 Man was also in the abeginning with God. bIntelligence, or the clight of dtruth, was not ecreated or made, neither indeed can be.

30 All truth is independent in that asphere in which God has placed it, to bact for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

31 Behold, here is the aagency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is bplainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.

32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the alight is under condemnation.

33 For man is aspirit. The elements are beternal, and cspirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

34 And when aseparated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

35 The aelements are the btabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even ctemples; and whatsoever temple is ddefiled, God shall destroy that temple.

36 The aglory of God is bintelligence, or, in other words, clight and truth.

37 Light and truth forsake that aevil one.

Exercise of Power:

34 Behold, there are many acalled, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

35 Because their ahearts are set so much upon the things of this bworld, and caspire to the dhonors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

36 That the arights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be bcontrolled nor handled only upon the cprinciples of righteousness.

37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to acover our bsins, or to gratify our cpride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or ddominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens ewithdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to akick against the pricks, to bpersecute the saints, and to cfight against God.

39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the anature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little bauthority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise cunrighteous dominion.

40 Hence many are called, but afew are chosen.

All Things To Be Revealed:

25 For there is a atime bappointed for every man, according as his cworks shall be.

26 God shall give unto you aknowledge by his Holy bSpirit, yea, by the unspeakable cgift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been drevealed since the world was until now;

27 Which our forefathers have awaited with aanxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory;

28 A time to come in the which anothing shall be withheld, whether there be bone God or many cgods, they shall be manifest.

29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be arevealed and set forth upon all who have endured bvaliantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

30 And also, if there be abounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars—

31 All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their aglories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the bdispensation of the fulness of times—

32 According to that which was aordained in the midst of the bCouncil of the Eternal cGod of all other gods before this dworld was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal epresence and into his immortal frest.

33 How long can rolling waters remain impure? What apower shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to bhinder the cAlmighty from pouring down dknowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.

I could go on, and on, and on . . .but that would take up more space than Blogger would allow for any one post. So Brother Joseph . . .millions world wide celebrate this 200th anniversary of your birth, life, teachings and mission:

He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own eblood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not fseparated!

So . . . WAKE UP WORLD . . . for the conflict of Justice. Indeed . . . .Millions Shall Know Brother Joseph Again!

1 Comments:

Anonymous C Jones said...

A great tribute to a great man. Thank you.

Friday, December 23, 2005 10:43:00 AM  

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