This will be a four part article due to the length and great amount of information contained in it.
If you missed part 1 or 2 here are the links:
We don’t know the origins of this article, other than it is a pdf we came across and felt it to be of benefit to the Saints or those that would call themselves saints.
A Change in Priesthood
There is another problem, if the words of former prophets have any merit. Brigham Young mentioned a change in priesthood if certain laws were disobeyed or changed. Joseph Smith also stated,
“Where there is no change of priesthood, there is no change of ordinances…” (Ibid., vol. 5, p. 424).
Then what is the status of priesthood within the Church? What has been the situation since the action of the Church in 1890? John Taylor said,
“What would be necessary to bring about the results nearest the hearts of the opponents of Mormonism? Simply to renounce, abrogate, or apostatize from the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in its fulness. Were the Church to do that as an entirety, God would reject the Saints as a body. The authority of the priesthood would be withdrawn with its gifts and powers, and there would be no more heavenly recognition of the administrations. The heavens would permanently withdraw themselves, and the Lord would raise up another people of greater valor and stability, for His work must, according to His unalterable decree, go forward; for the time of the second coming of the Savior is near, even at the doors” (Des. News, April 23, 1885).
However, the prophets have indicated that at least sufficient priesthood will remain with the Church.
“The priesthood in the last days has to be manifested in sufficient power to bear off the Kingdom of God triumphant, that all Israel may be gathered and saved. If all Israel will not be sanctified by the law which their Moses first offers them, they will peradventure receive a law of ordinances administered to them, not according to the power of endless life. Men will be saved in the last days, as in former days, according to their faith and willingness to receive the word of God, and walk in it” (Franklin D. Richards, Mill. Star 16:36).
Sufficient priesthood remained with the children of Israel, as history indicates. But as a result of their actions, God could not and did not leave with them sufficient to exalt them as a people, not without the higher laws. The fulness of priesthood cannot be manifest under such circumstances. Having relinquished higher laws of the priesthood in the days of Moses and today, what makes the Church any different from other churches in its ability to exalt man? What is salt that has lost its savor? Is Mormonism much more popular with the world? President Heber J. Grant rejoiced that it was so even in his day. But, “When Mormonism finds favor with the wicked in this land, it will have gone into the shade; but until the power of the priesthood is gone, Mormonism will never become popular with the wicked” (Brigham Young, Jrnl. of Disc., vol. 4, p. 38).
Remnant To Come Forth
The following quotations simply speak for themselves.
“We receive the priesthood and power and authority. If we make a bad use of the priesthood, do you not see that the day will come when God will reckon with us, and He will take it from us and give it to those who will make better use of it” (Heber C. Kimball, Ibid., vol. 6, p. 125).
“But the time will come when the Lord will choose a people out of this people upon whom he will bestow His choicest blessings” (Heber C. Kimball, Des. News, Nov. 9, 1865).
“…A people will come forth from among us, who will be zealous of good works, willing to do the bidding of the Lord, who will be taught in His ways, and who will walk in His paths” ( Daniel H. Wells, Des. News, Nov. 6, 1875).
“Such a body will evolve from those called Latter-day Saints, who as a Church possess the fulness and power of the pure plan of salvation” ( George Q. Cannon, Mill. Star 42:585).
“I do not know but that it would be an utter impossibility to commence and carry out some principles pertaining to Zion right in the midst of this people. They have strayed so far that to get a people who would conform to heavenly laws it may be needful to lead some from the midst of this people and commence anew somewhere in the region round about in these mountains” (Orson Pratt, Jrnl. of Disc., vol.15, p. 361).
We wonder if excommunication is a handy way to gather such a people together; that is, excommunicants who have been handled for believing in too much gospel. The Mormons were once rather pleased to be called a “peculiar people.” It would seem that the peculiar Mormons today are those called apostate, and excommunicated.
Lord’s House Out of Order
In connection with the gathering of a small but faithful group of people who will live all of God’s laws, another great prophecy will be fulfilled to correct the disorder in which Israel has placed itself. “Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go forth, saith the Lord; First among those among you, saith the Lord, who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house, saith the Lord” (D&C, Section 112:24-26). (We wonder if “in the midst of my house” excuses the excommunicants of the house from these added afflictions!)
Instrumental in the setting in order of the House of God, is one called the “mighty and strong.” “…I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter 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…” (Ibid., Section 85).
The Prophet Joseph Smith will fill that role. He will return again to lead the people forth, as he vowed before the Nauvoo Legion shortly before his death. Orson Pratt informs us that the one mighty and strong will be “an immortal personage.” (See Jrnl. of Disc., vol. 21, p. 150-151). We pray for the day. Simple reasoning dictates that if one mighty is to come to set the House of God in order, it is because the House of God is out of order. It is the House upon which God’s judgments will first fall, starting at the top, or the head.
…continued in part 4 to be released on December 29, 2020.