Joseph Smith manages to convey volumes in his sentences. Here are notes on some excerpts from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pages 18-19.
“for the Lord will have a place whence His word will go forth, in these last days, in purity; for if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people; for His work will go on until Israel is gathered”
I had wondered whether this was true, and here is Joseph Smith saying so. He says “if Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of all things, in His sight, He will seek another people”. Now don’t get me wrong. I think the twelve lead the church just as the Lord desires. But I think the church is following very poorly, and that we have many members who want to let basic doctrine and commandments go so we can be more appealing to the world. Zion is built on doctrine and we are retreating away from her, rather than striving toward her.
In the same paragraph we also read
“they who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel His wrath. Let me say unto you, seek to purify yourselves, and also the inhabitants of Zion, lest the Lord’s anger be kindled to fierceness.”
We simply don’t believe that. But it is true. “They who will not hear His voice, must expect to feel his wrath.”
Then Joseph Smith says:
“Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion; and strange as it may appear, yet it is true, mankind will persist in self-justification until all their iniquity is exposed, and their character past being redeemed, and that which is treasured up in their hearts be exposed to the gaze of mankind. I say to you (and what I say to you I say to all), hear the warning voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.”
The statement “Repent, repent, is the voice of God to Zion” is profound in its own right. Also “Hear the voice of God, lest Zion fall, and the Lord swear in His wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into His rest.”
We kind of think that this could not happen. If the Lord swore in his wrath the inhabitants of Zion shall not enter into his rest, we think that would mess up his plan, so he won’t do that. Interestingly, we do know that if Joseph Smith had not lived up to being the prophet, the Lord would have chosen another in his stead. But we think that we do not need to purify ourselves and live up to becoming Zion. Apparently, we think it is only ourselves that are irreplaceable.
We then read
“The brethren in Kirtland pray for you unceasingly, for, knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear for you.”
I think it is interesting when one man has spoken with the Lord in person and seen his face, but we, who know only the whisperings of the Holy Ghost at the most basic level then want to correct him. But Joseph Smith is correct and agrees with the scriptures when he says “The brethren in Kirtland pray for you unceasingly, for, knowing the terrors of the Lord, they greatly fear for you.”
He then continues
“You will see that the Lord commanded us, in Kirtland, to build a house of God, and establish a school for the Prophets, this is the word of the Lord to us, and we must, yea, the Lord helping us, we will obey: as on conditions of our obedience He has promised us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens to honor us with His own presence. We greatly fear before the Lord lest we should fail of this great honor, which our Master proposes to confer on us; we are seeking for humility and great faith lest we be ashamed in His presence.”
If the Lord offers to bring his people into his presence, and they fail to live up to it, that will have drastic consequences.