A similar course of things that the son has

My son pointed out that these things all go together:

Matt 20:21 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
22 They say unto him, We are able.
23 And he said unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is for whom it is prepared of my Father, but not mine to give.

From Orson F Whitney journal June 8, 1889. He [Lorenzo Snow] told me that he heard Jos Smith tell a man once that he would become a God and reign in glory, but that before that he would have to be crucified as Christ was. That man is still living.

From the Franklin D Richards account of Joseph Smith’s Three grand orders sermon:

“Joseph also said that the Holy Ghost is now in a state of Probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same on a similar course of things that the son has.”


Orson F Whitney Journal transcripts on Eliza R Snow and reincarnation, as well as a remarkable dream of his.

Typed these transcripts up from Orson F Whitney’s journal. Images of the journal pages are attached. They are a bit difficult to find as I explained in a previous post.

Orson F Whitney Journal
Saturday, June 8, 1889

We [Orson F Whitney and President Snow] had a very interesting conversation this day and the three days following, on “the mysteries”. He told me he had never unbosomed himself to mortal man as he had to me, considered me a close friend and a brother. …. While … hands were upon my head he predicted that I would be lifted up and occupy places high and glorious in this life and when he sat down he said that the Lord had shown him some things concerning me that he did not dare tell. “But”, he added, “they will all come along in due time”.
During our talks he told me that his sister, the late Eliza R Snow Smith, was a firm believer in the principle of reincarnation and that she claimed to have received it from Joseph the Prophet, her husband. He said he saw nothing unreasonable in it, and could believe it, if it came to him from the Lord or His oracle. He said … that I had a revealing mind and was wonderfully gifted in the power to reach after and grasp the mysteries. He said he loved to talk with me, but that I must be careful to whom I talked for most men did not care anything for these principles, being “darkened in mind”, and that as I grew and increased in the knowledge of God men would become jealous of me and seek to injure me. But I will befriend you, he said, and I want you to feel perfectly free with me. He told me that he heard Jos Smith tell a man once that he would become a God and reign in glory, but that before that he would have to be crucified as Christ was. That man is still living.


Orson F Whitney Journal
Tuesday Nov 15, 1887
Last night in a dream, a beautiful woman, angelic in appearance was shown to me as in a vision. She told me she was my wife, that she lived in heaven and that I left her in charge of my home there when I came down upon the earth. Her face was entirely new to me, so far as recollection went, and she was very beautiful. This dream illustrated a doctrine I have believed for several years.2018-03-16 (4)2018-03-16 (6)2018-03-16 (5)

Finding the account of Eliza R Snow saying she believed in reincarnation, and had been taught it by Joseph Smith

Orson F Whitney’s journal’s are apparently the source of Lorenzo Snow’s statement that Eliza R Snow Smith believed in reincarnation and said she was taught the principle by Joseph Smith.

The account of Eliza R Snow Smith’s statement is found in Orson F Whitney’s entry on Saturday June 8, 1889. That entry spans multiple pages, and the University of Utah’s online version of Orson F Whitney’s journals has one page of that entry in the wrong place. In fact, the University of Utah’s online version places that page in the wrong journal. That page should be part of the June 8, 1889 entry. But instead, the University of Utah’s online version sticks that entire page in the middle of November 1887 where it doesn’t belong.

The author quotes from the out-of-place page, and recognizes that the out-of-place page did not fit the context. The author quotes it assuming that the previous pages of the physical journal were removed by Orson F Whitney.

But this incident didn’t take place in Nov 1887, and the previous pages aren’t missing at all. The University of Utah online scan has that page in the wrong place altogether. Being a very notable incident, it would be good we got it correct.

You can tell which journal this page really belongs in, and where it belongs in that journal, by looking at the preprinted dates on the journal pages, as well as by the context of the text. Orson Whitney liked to use journal pages with preprinted dates. He would simply cross out the preprinted date, and write in the correct one on each entry. You can use those preprinted dates to figure out where this page really belongs.

There are four preprinted dates on each page. As it sits at the University of Utah’s online version, the sequence of PREPRINTED (not handwritten) dates on the pages goes like this.

One page has preprinted dates
November Tuesday 7 1882 / Wednesday 8 / November Thursday 9, 1882 / Friday 10

The next page is in the wrong place, it has preprinted dates
November Saturday 10, 1888 / Sunday 11 / November Monday 12, 1888 / Tuesday 13

The following page is back on track, it has preprinted dates
November Saturday 11, 1882 / Sunday 12 /November Monday 13, 1882 / Tuesday 14

Now where does this missing page belong? Well, it really sounds like it fits into the context of the Saturday June 8, 1889 entry. Just before that Wilford Woodruff had stated that he didn’t believe in reincarnation, but Orson Whitney had recorded that he, himself did. Then on June 8, 1889, Orson Whitney had already recorded that he was spending time with Lorenzo Snow and wrote “We had a very interesting conversation this day and the three days following, on ‘the mysteries’. He told me he had never unbosomed himself to mortal man as he had to me, considered me a close friend and a brother. He ble … the day before …. his history. While …”

The dates on that page of that journal were:

November Tuesday 6, 1888 / Wednesday 7 / November Thursday 8, 1888 / Friday 9

The dates at the beginning of the next page is.

November Wednesday 14, 1888

So there is a page missing, since this skips from Friday 9 to Wednesday 14. Moreover, the dates on the missing page are exactly the dates on our page that is in the wrong place. So the out of place page actually belongs right here, in the middle of an account of several days spent in conversation with Lorenzo Snow.

When is a prophet speaking as a prophet?

Joseph Smith said that a prophet is not always speaking as a prophet.

But when is a prophet speaking as a prophet?

It has nothing to do with general conference. It is not a bureaucratic matter measured by what meeting he is speaking in. The vast bulk of our scriptures are words by prophets that were not spoken during a special church meeting, and many, many special meetings did not merit being included in the scriptures.

So when is a prophet speaking as a prophet?

We cannot know except insofar as we have learned to be prophets ourselves, or else when he delivers a revelation from God, and states that he does so. We are to learn to be prophets ourselves that we may know when the prophet is speaking as a prophet, that we may rejoice and be edified thereby. A prophet is speaking as a prophet when he speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost. The scriptures say that we can only partake of that when we receive it by the Holy Ghost. If we do not have the Holy Ghost ourselves, we cannot know when a prophet (or any other man) is speaking by the Holy Ghost, or when he is simply offering his opinion, or speaking on basic principles as he understands them.

The need for a teacher, and who he must be.

No man can know the things of heaven except he be taught by heaven. Sure, the brass serpent on the staff represents looking to Christ in a figurative sense.

But that figurative sense of looking unto Christ is only a partial account. Generally, when we look unto Christ, we are largely looking unto our traditions of who Christ is.

Being healed from the poisonous serpent’s bite by looking at the brass serpent on the staff should be compared to this verse:

Ether 3:13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

If we cannot admit the reality of Christ’s words here, then we cannot understand the fuller meaning of the brass serpent Moses made that healed those men that would look upon it from the bite of the poisonous serpent.

Christ said to the brother of Jared that there was knowledge that he had obtained, and that because he obtained that knowledge he was redeemed from the fall, and was consequently brought back into Christ’s presence to be taught no differently than Adam and Eve were taught by the Father and the Son before the fall. Consequently, looking upon the son, and being healed from the fall, go hand in hand.

But where did the Brother of Jared gain this knowledge that redeemed him? Was it not the Lord that he had been speaking to?

The keeper of the gate is the Holy one of Israel, and he employeth no servant there. We will have to come up to be taught by the Lord ourselves before we will gain that knowledge from him, and him alone, through which we may be redeemed from the fall. And if we are redeemed from the fall, will he not visit us from time to time to teach us just as he taught Adam and Eve before the fall?

Of course he will. We will never gain the knowledge of heaven except we be taught by heaven. And we can never enter heaven without gaining the same knowledge that the brother of Jared obtained, from the same being and by the same means it was communicated to that man.

But we have a great distance to travel before we will ever enjoy such gifts as that.

Let us consider the path the Lord laid out for us, and place our feet firmly on it, pressing forward with all diligence and searching the scriptures. Let us deny ourselves of all ungodliness. Let us define our lives by the quest to keep that great commandment in earnest “receive the Holy Ghost”.

We have such a long, long road to travel. And our rationalizations hold us captive, wasting away the days of our probation wallowing and reveling and embracing things we no longer even know we ought to be ashamed of. We sing along to the hymns of hell, we think nothing of a little indecency or immodesty as long as it was a “good movie”. We are constantly paying good money to partake of things that would have filled our great grandparents with indignant shame, and we gather the family round to relish it together. Many among us now embrace perversion as being a trial rather than a sin. Will that God who cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance come and teach us before we cast these things far away from us? No. Not ever.

A responsibility rests on the church to gather Sidney Rigdon’s posterity

Joseph Smith prophesied:

“And again, blessed be Brother Sidney: notwithstanding he shall be high and lifted up, yet he shall bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that Croucheth beneath his burden, that learneth his master’s will by the stroke of the rod; thus saith the Lord: yet, the Lord will have mercy on him, and he shall bring forth much fruit, even as the vine of the choice grape, when her clusters are ripe, before the time of the gleaning of the vintage; and the Lord shall make his heart merry as with sweet wine, because of Him who putteth forth His hand, and lifteth him up out of deep mire, and pointeth him out the way, and guideth his feet when he stumbles, and humbleth him in his pride. Blessed are his generations: nevertheless one shall hunt after them as a man hunteth after an ass that has strayed in the wilderness, and straightway findeth him and bringeth him into the fold. Thus shall the Lord watch over his generation, that they may be saved. Even so. Amen.”

Having never heard that such a responsibility rests on the church, I thought I would make a note of it.

Eternal life, family sealings, and preserving our identity

Brigham Young understood much about the scriptures that we have lost. There is something about those who learned personally from Joseph Smith. There was much that he taught them that we no longer know anything about. It has been lost to us, having never come up to learn it ourselves.

What is hell? I don’t know the full measure of what hell is. But part of the suffering of hell is to know that we have lost our family members. That they are gone to us.

We need too much commentary to understand the scriptures these days. And we have for a long time. What is eternal life? We learn what it is from a young age. But the phrase is plainer by itself than it is with all our explanations.

Brigham Young explained that the great gift of God was to preserve our identity. That sounds strange to us. And we must ask, have we ever lost our identity?

Of course we have. Who were your closest friends 10,000 years ago? Who were they 1000 years ago? How many did you once know, you who have always existed? If you did not lose your identity when you were born, please tell me all about it. What were you called before this life, what were the names of those you loved best, and what are your favorite memories of them? Did you have no cherished moments before this life?

Yes, our identity is completely lost to us. We lost it when we were born.

The greatest gift of God is eternal life. And what is eternal life? It is exactly what it says it is. It is to live on indefinitely.

We rose from the grave in this world when we were born, being made of the dust of this earth. If we are meek, we will inherit this earth. If we are not, we will continue on to another one. We will not preserve our identity.

I think there is this sense among us that if our family is not sealed for eternity, they will still be with us for eternity. We don’t understand. We don’t realize that if we are not worthy of a resurrection which will preserve our identity, then we will lose our identity. We will come forth once again then as we did here. We will come forth having lost our identity on another world such as this one.

Thus we will not cheat God. If we desire to have our family for eternity, we will have to live so well as to preserve our identity. We will have to live worthy of eternal life, which is life that does not end.

But if we do not live worthy of eternal life, they will be lost to us. No expectation which is not entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise is to be claimed in the resurrection.