Jacob 5 the solution to a corrupt vineyard

In the parable of the Olive tree in Jacob 5, when the Lord vists his vineyard and finds none of the natural fruit on any of the trees, that is not the great apostasy. You know that by the Lord’s solution. The Lord’s solution was to go and destroy the gentile branches out of the natural tree, beginning at the most bitter, grafting natural branches back into the original tree as he does so.

Was that the Lord’s solution to the great apostasy? Not at all. Quite the contrary, this is the time of the gentiles still. The gospel came forth among the gentiles. It came forth to a gentile nation. Its seat of authority is in a gentile nation. The gentiles are still, by and large, the principal, first heirs of all the blessings that the great patriarchs of Israel earned for their posterity.

Every use of the Urim and Thummim in this dispensation has been to translate something into english, or to receive a revelation in english. The Israelites must either learn a gentile tongue, or suffer through a translation of less perfection than was possible through the Urim and Thummim.

The promised land of the Nephites, which is a land of liberty, is now a gentile land. It is the United States. The land of this country is the land of the Book of Mormon for that is where we see the Book of Mormon promises realized that there a land which is a unique land of liberty. By contrast the governments in south and central America are hardly “the land of the free”.

The great apostasy was not solved by removing the gentiles out of the tree and grafting in the Israelites. The great apostasy is not what is being described in Jacob 5 when the Lord goes into his vineyard and finds that none of the trees have the natural fruit.

When the Lord visits his vineyard and finds that there is no longer natural fruit on the trees, the point is that the church members are no longer living the gospel as they ought. They aren’t living it well enough for “those signs that follow them that believe” to also be following the members of the church, by and large. They aren’t living it well enough for the Holy Ghost to fall upon them.

That is not the great apostasy. It is today, or the near future, that we read about when the Lord finds none of the natural fruit in the tree.

I have elsewhere written about that. Here I just want to write about one detail of that.

Here I want to answer two questions.

1) Why is it that when the Lord cannot find any of the natural fruit on the original tree, he also does not find any of it on the branches he has planted elsewhere, which by that visit have all grown up to be trees in their own right (e.g. verse 55).

2) Why is it that the solution to there being none of the natural fruit on any of the trees is to start removing branches that were grafted in, burning them, and grafting in natural branches from those places where he had hidden them? Especially since none of the branches are producing the natural fruit in the entire vineyard?

These are related. The point is that at some point the Lord will begin to exercise judgments against his members. This is no surprise. It happens all through the scriptures again and again.

The point is that the bitter branches which are burned first are those places where gentile ideas have so overwhelmed the practice of the gospel in the lives of actual members that the Lord destroys the people living in those areas.

To graft in a natural branch in the place of a branch that is taken out and burned is to bring Israelites in to replace those peoples who the Lord has destroyed. When they are grafted in then those Israelites enjoy the blessings of those lands that the former inhabitants receive.

And the point is that as gentile ideas overwhelm those parts of the church in this, the promised land where the seat of authority of the church is, the Israelites in other parts of the world are poisoned by the effects of that.

You can easily see the reality of this.

There are many things that go up on lds.org which are directly contrary to the teachings found in the scriptures and to the teachings of our prophets and apostles now or in other ages. Those things that go up on lds.org are taken as being gospel truth in other parts of the world.

LDS seminary is a world wide program. However, the current head of CES is a man who openly endorses what Ezra Taft Benson would have reviled as communism and socialism. This is not done in secret. One of his talks on the matter was posted prominently on the BYUI website for a time, when he was the president there.

The church website for Mormons and gays is pure evil. The title of that website specifies that it is an official website of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Brad Wilcox has served on the general Sunday School board. His writings subvert the atonement and are among the most destructive Mormon writings today, which I say partly because they are so popular. One of them, a speech given at BYU, has been read during two different sacrament meetings I have attended in two different parts of the United States.

The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church manuals are filtered out by those who compile them. For example, Ezra Taft Benson spoke so strongly and frequently against socialism and communism that at least one of the words “socialism”, “socialist”, “communism”, or “communist” enters into one in every four conference talks he gave since 1942. David O McKay spoke against these things so plainly that at least one of those words appears in one in every six conference talks he gave over the same period. Yet neither of those words, or even those topics, appear in the “Teachings of the Presidents of the Church” manuals for either of those men. In fact, I recall reading an Ezra Taft Benson quote I recognized about communism in the manual, except that the phrase that made it about communism instead of about other evils had been replaced with ellipsis, right in the middle of the sentence.

There is a Mormon.org video that tries to teach that God is all about diversity, even about differing beliefs, and starts with the false teaching that in the beginning God created both light and darkness. He didn’t. He said let there be light and there was light. Then he separated the light from the darkness. Creating light by his word, and then separating the light from the darkness is a completely different idea than saying God is the kind of being that created both light and darkness.

There is a Mormon.org video series called “Hope works” that is the antithesis of gospel teaching. The woman who spoke on the atonement in it has written a book teaching about her spiritual awakening to the atonement which included an experience screaming and yelling at God in prayer telling him how angry she was at him. Her doctrine is that we can be saved in our sins.

The “Meet the Mormons” video openly states that gender roles in the church may not be what you expect. Their point is that gender roles in the church do not match the plainly stated commandments of God the Father in Eden.

Additionally, that video uses a woman in the church who enjoys physically beating other women up for sport in a contest as part of its means to sell the church. Her husband does not provide for their home. Rather it is a joint venture as I recall. This is presented as the model of who we are. The fact that “the fighter” in their video is a woman is an intentional selection presenting women not only in a man’s role, but in an extreme macho role that is chosen because of its appeal to modern gender bending.

Our temple videos pay their due homage at points to feminist ideas. The text is not changed, but the filmmakers took advantage of their roles in providing the visuals that would accompany the text to accomplish just such a thing.

The twelve and the prophet are leading the church precisely the way the Lord wants it lead. But much of what is thrown in your face as being the lds church is actually manufactured by men who are wicked men selling you false and subversive ideas.

In other countries, these destructive ideas may seem more like they are the ideas of the church itself. After all, it is easier to get to the church website and to mormon.org then to get to talk to an apostle. You get handed a manual each year, which you have lessons from every week. But you only have general conference every six months.

Thus the stumbling of the gentile branches that have been grafted in actively helps drive the stumbling of Israel in the rest of the world.

When the natural fruit is not what is being found on the natural tree, then it is not surprising that the natural fruit is not found elsewhere either.

And the solution to that is that since gentile ideas are overwhelming the whole church, then the most bitter branches will be destroyed by the Lord, and he will bring Israel back in to the lands of their inheritance, and to the seat of power and authority. It will not happen all at once. As the most bitter gentile branches are destroyed, Israelites will be brought by the Lord to take the place they once held. Eventually, Israel will again take her place and the original tree will be fully restored. Israel will be restored to the lands of her inheritance, and consequently Israel will also obtain once again the blessings of those lands. For example, this land will be a land of freedom to Israel, and there will be no kings upon this land.

Eventually the law will come forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

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Jacob 5 – What does it mean to be grafted into the roots of the natural tree? It means to be the principal recipients, the first recipients, of the blessings that the patriarchs of Israel earned for their posterity.

There is a parable of the olive tree in the book of Jacob.

For a long time I wondered what it meant to be a branch grafted into the natural tree.

We read that the gospel went first to the Jews and then to the gentiles, and then it goes first to the gentiles and then to the Jews. This is not just a matter of the order. It is kind of like the precedence. It is partly a matter of the magnitude of the blessings they are enjoying the gospel.

The point is, to put it in brief, that the gentiles are enjoying the blessings which the great patriarchs of Israel earned through their faith for their own posterity. It is intentionally ironic. It is a rebuke to Israel. Joseph of Egypt earned the great prize that his posterity would inherit this land, North America, which is a chosen land. It was in this land that we read of the Nephites and Lamanites for it is in this land that we see the promises given to Joseph fulfilled. There has not been a king upon the land. The kings who had colonies here were in other lands, and this was only a subsidiary colony where their power was more limited (that being one of the reasons people fled here). This is the land of freedom. This is the land where the consitution burst forth. This is the promised land of freedom.

It is plainly manifest that it is in North America, and particularly the land of America itself that we see the blessings that were promised concerning a “promised land” to the Nephites and the Lamanites being fulfilled.

It is in this land, in the land of the United States, that we see the blessings of a promised land fulfilled. It is not in central America. It is not in south America. This is the promised land of the Book of Mormon.

Who earned those blessings?

If there is a land promised to the posterity of Joseph, was it not obtained by Joseph through his works?

But who is enjoying those blessings? Who is it that is enjoying the blessings of freedom, and of a land of prosperity?

It is the gentiles who are enjoy it. The gentiles are enjoying the blessings that the great patriarchs in Israel earned for their own posterity.

Who did Mormon compile the Book of Mormon for? Didn’t he write that it was written more especially for the Lamanites? Yes. Because THEY ARE FAMILY. They are his kindred.

But who received it. It came forth to a gentile nation.

It was not even translated by Joseph Smith into any language native to the Lamanites of our day. It was translated into a gentile language.

The blessings earned by the great patriarchs of Israel are being enjoy first, and primarily, by the gentiles instead.

The revelations of the Lord in the last days came through an Israelite, for Joseph Smith was not only a pure Israelite, but he was the direct descendant of the Savior himself, a true heir, and he himself is another of the great patriarchs whose posterity is another chosen seed as surely as Abraham’s posterity was.

And yet, while Joseph Smith was an Israelite, the revelations he received are in the language of the gentiles. The seat of authority of the church is in a gentile nation.

The gentiles have “first dibs” on all the blessings of the gospel. When leaders were chosen in the church, the Israelites who would gather were present, but also a lot of gentiles.

If an Israelite wants to read the Book of Mormon, or the revelations, will they get a translation as pure and perfect as one by Joseph Smith? No. In one ward we lived in there was a member of the church who was Chinese: Sister Hough. She was asked by the church to create a new Chinese translation of the Book of Mormon. The original translation of the Book of Mormon came through the Urim and Thummim, the same means used to obtain many of the revelations in the doctrine and covenants. Can she ever match that inspiration? Will her inspiration exceed her own personal insight?

No. No it will not.

The rest of the world, including the Israelites, receive the Book of Mormon and other modern scriptures in a secondary form. This is true even though the Book of Mormon is written primarily to the Lamanites.

When the Lord begins to destroy those portions of his church whose gentile traditions have so overwhelmed the way they live gospel that their way of life no longer brings them to receive the same blessings as the patriarchs of ancient Israel, then the Lord will bring branches of those trees of Israel in other countries back to the land of their inheritance to take the place of those whom he has destroyed.

Whether others will be destroyed with them to make room for Israel is largely irrelevant. It is the righteousness of the saints in their places that preserves the people.

The seat of authority of the church will remain in the promised land, because it is a land of promise. But the branches which are overwhelmed will be destroyed by the Lord. He will burn them, and will bring Israel in their place back to the lands of Israel’s inheritance.

This will continue, and in the end so little of the gentiles will remain in this land that they are not even symbolized as a branch in Jacob 5. Then Israel will fully receive the blessings that her own fathers earned for her.

Yes, the gentiles are being given the opportunity to become part of Israel when they are baptized. But that is an opportunity, not an unconditional blessing received at baptism. The old gentile blood must be purged out by the Holy Ghost and they must individually receive a new creation by the Holy Ghost, and become literally of the seed of Israel.

And but few will live up to that. So in the end the tree will be Israel. Israel will inherit all her promised lands. Joseph Smith’s seed will return to their promised blessings and will reign in the church in this land. Other Israelites that the Lord has hidden in the palms of his hands will also remain. Many of these will be those righteous posterity of the faithful leaders of the early church who were Israelites hidden among the gentiles.

The blessings that the patriarchs earned for their posterity by their faithfulness will be returned to their own posterity, who will again be righteous. Their posterity will sit in the seats at the head of the church in that day.

Being put in charge means you are in charge. It was never meant as a guarantee that all you do is the mind and will of the Lord.

Joseph Smith, as well as the doctrine and covenants, explained how decisions become valid for the church. For example, we read of the quorum of the twelve, and quorum of the seventy:

DC& 107:27 And every decision made by either of these quorums must be by the unanimous voice of the same; that is, every member in each quorum must be agreed to its decisions, in order to make their decisions of the same power or validity one with the other—

However, there is a difference between “valid” and “the mind and will of the Lord”. It is important that we recognize and abide valid decisions. But for the purpose of understanding, it is important that we also distinguish between the meaning of “valid” and the meaning of “the mind and will of the Lord”.

There is much that we do in the church because the first presidency has the right to preside, and the Melchizedek priesthood holds the right of presidency in all ages of the church, over administering spiritual things.

Put differently, the Melchizedek priesthood is in charge.

Now to get people to obey, we have tried to alter this to “the Melchizedek priesthood has the sole right to inspiration in directing the affairs of the church” or that “all that is done by the Melchizedek priesthood is the mind and will of the Lord”.

That addition does not appear in the revelations, and is simply a false tradition.

The members of the ward have as much right to inspiration in how a ward is directed as a Bishop, or there is no point in having them sustain anything. The idea that members have no right to inspiration concerning their own callings or the callings of those who will teach their own children is laughable. They have no power to extend such callings. But inspiration concerning them is another matter completely.

When Moses was overwhelmed, Jethro told him to choose judges. The Lord stood by this, and that is what Moses did. The idea that everything that those judges did is the mind and will of the Lord is ludicrous.

Similarly, when Bishops make callings, sure the Lord has put them in charge. The idea that those callings are always the mind and will of the Lord is ludicrous.

Our whole notion of what it means to preside is completely wrong. Our notion of what it means to preside is more based on the idea of a monarchy, whose power rests in the fact that it has the sole right to receive inspiration on all matters relating to its dominion, as well as the sole right to discern what is or is not inspiration on all matters relating to its dominion.

In fact, we have an idea of presidency that is based around kingship. In our notion of presidency the local president has the sole right to inspiration on all matters regarding administering to spiritual things. But that is not what the scriptures say, and it is incorrect.

With our belief in that sole right to inspiration in place, then those who preside rule as kings, for we teach incessantly that all that local leaders do is based on inspiration. Thus anyone who disagrees is disobeying God. It becomes, in practice, the divine right of kings, which was that God stood by all a king’s decisions, so to disobey the king was to disobey God.

Joseph Smith state (and this should govern our understanding of consecration of our time through callings as well as our property):

“The matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties; for to give the Bishop power to say how much every man shall have, and he be obliged to comply with the Bishop’s judgment, is giving the Bishop more power than a king has; and, upon the other hand, to let every man say how much he needs, and the Bishop be obliged to comply with his judgment, is to throw Zion into confusion, and make a slave of the Bishop. The fact is, there must be a balance or equilibrium of power, between the Bishop and the people, and thus harmony and good-will may be preserved among you” (TPJS page 23)

God himself revealed:

D&C 101:80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

We needn’t think that a government that is inspired by God is so completely foreign to the way he would run things in his own church. His church is not meant to be a bunch of local monarchies, with slightly bigger monarchies all making up some huge monarchy, except if he himself was the king of it. We are not to suppose that the inspiration of our leaders is so perfect that God considers government by any man on this world to be the same as government by himself, unless he himself declares such. Certainly, there have been men like Moses and Joseph Smith of whom God said that the people were to receive their words and commandments as if from God himself.

However, in such rare cases, God himself declared the matter, as is right if he was to expect such a thing of men. Those God sets as heads of dispensations are prophets among prophets, meaning they stand above the other prophets by as much as the prophets stand above other men.

Jacob 5 shorter notes

I was sure that our usual interpretation of Jacob 5 could not be correct. It is just not reasonable to have 5 pages or so of parable to convey so little meaning. After all, our usual interpretation is a lot shorter and simpler than the parable of the olive trees itself is. What would be the sense in that?

Why would it be necessary to teach such a thing in parable form? Christ spoke in parables not to reveal things, but to conceal things.

The key point is that when the Lord comes back and finds none of the natural fruit, we think it is talking about the great apostasy. But that isn’t the meaning of it at all. It is true that during that visit, he finds that the Nephites have been destroyed (remember the natural branch he planted in the choicest part of his vineyard – it had two branches, one good and one bad, but during this visit he found that Nephites had been destroyed). But just because he finds that the Nephites have been destroyed doesn’t mean this visit is during the great apostasy, because it says it was a long time since the last visit, and it also says that this visit is near the end.

That visit represents today.

What is the natural fruit of the tree?

It is that members are living so rightly that the signs that follow them that believe also follow themselves. It is that the individual members are learning to live so as individually to become as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

And why does the Lord not find the tree producing the natural fruit?

It is because gentile ideas have so overwhelmed the church members that they are not living the gospel well enough to actually ever obtain, individually, the blessings of the root of the tree: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Remember how the servant says that it has happened because of the vastness of the tree, the branches having overwhelmed the roots, which are good.

Gentile ideas have overwhelmed many of our members because of a fascination with having many people baptized, instead of having many people converted. Because of a fascination with having many people endowed, but not many people who are determined to live the covenants of their endowment. Because of a fascination with having many people sealed, but not many people who are determined to live their sealing covenant.

The vastness of the tree is overwhelming the goodness of the roots, as gentile ideas in the church are overwhelming the desires of the members to truly live so as to obtain the blessings of the roots: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When the individual members are not living so as to become just as those great members, then the tree is no longer producing its natural fruit.

The plucking out of the branches is a reference to these sorts of scriptures:

D&C 112:24 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.
25 And upon my house shall it begin, and from my house shall it go
forth, saith the Lord;
26 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 mine house, saith the Lord.

The branches that are plucked out of the natural tree are the places where the members are most completely overwhelmed with gentile ideas. As they are plucked out, the Lord begins to graft in the natural branches, bringing those portions of scattered Israel again to their proper place in the church, and back to the lands of their inheritance.

The revelations are true, but to take the fragments we have and determine it is our official doctrine that they are the complete story is to set up stakes for God.

The scriptures are perfectly true. God’s revelations are perfectly true. But we have a certain vanity about us where we like to think we deserve the whole story. We do not. And we do not have it.

D&C 29:30 But remember that not all my judgments are given unto man ….

We have what we need to get to where we need to be at next. And we have the barest hints about what comes before, and what comes after.

Joseph Smith warned repeatedly about setting up stakes for the almighty. Setting up stakes meant marking out boundaries by pounding stakes into the ground. Joseph warned that those who are inclined to set up stakes for the almighty will come short of the glory of God, so this is no small matter.

But we like to take those hints we have about things we know very little about and make them the whole story. Then that whole story we invented becomes dogma, and once it is dogma, once we decide it is the official account, we have set up stakes for the almighty. We say to the Lord “here you can reveal, and no farther”. We thus set up stakes for the Almighty in precisely the way it is most commonly done: by trying to tie God up with his own words, not realizing he has only given us bare hints about those things we know so little about.

Joseph’s warnings on this matter have passed completely out of our minds.

In fact, we have done the very thing he warned against and made it a significant part of the church culture. We use a different name for it. We instead use the words “official doctrine” to mean the same thing. We do this so much that it strikes us as being nearly heretical for a man to speak against this habit. Joseph’s warnings on the matter no longer define our lives, for they passed out of mind long, long ago.

It might be helpful to take some specifics.

I have likely had at least 50 different lessons on the second coming in my life. In those lessons the second coming is almost universally portrayed as being an event, rather than a long story. I recall a stake presidency member giving a fireside in which he went over the different angels blowing their trumps in D&C 88 and describing those trumps as being blown one after another all within a single day. The picture of the second coming I learned about in my childhood was that on a day just like any other day the Lord would appear in the sky, and the wicked would be burned by the brightness of his coming, where the righteous would be spared. He would descend to earth and begin his reign. Then the millennium would begin with Christ as king of the earth, more or less from that very day. This is the result of taking a few scriptures and taking them as laying out the whole matter.

And to take our very short story we invented from those scriptures and determine that it is the whole matter, and then to make that belief dogma among us is to do the very thing Joseph Smith warned against. It is to set up stakes for the almighty. It is to say to the Lord “here you can reveal and no further” because we already have our dogma, and our ears don’t want to hear anything else.

The same is true for premortality. We have the barest hints about it, but you will see speakers get up and give quite the invented account of what happened there, all presented as official church dogma. Then they hear of something Brigham Young said about premorality and they are offended and laugh at that great prophet as being a fool, feeling wise within themselves.

The same is true for those things that follow morality.

Will all the scriptures be fulfilled?

Why certainly, but we like to take the few scriptures we have on the matter and lay them out as being an official complete account. We like to draw a picture with a bunch of circles on it and call it the plan of salvation. We would be offended if someone said our picture is dismally incomplete, and generally gives the wrong idea altogether. When we read something Heber C Kimball said about the matter that plainly suggests there is a lot more, we feel like the brethren that knew Joseph and learned from him personally and stayed true through all persecution were a bunch of weirdos with their own ideas. We cannot hear more, for we have our dogma. We have set up our stakes.

And we need to cast this practice off from among us. Our official doctrine is our scriptures. It is the words of Joseph Smith, for God requires us to receive his words and commands as if from God himself. Our official doctrine is the Holy Ghost. At least, that is the only doctrine we have which God himself said is official, assuming we are open to his ideas on the matter.

We need to stop setting up stakes for the almighty or we will come short of the glory of God.

Now it needs to be added that we need to repent. People have started the official doctrine inquisition since forever ago as a handy way to cast out the myriad false ideas that members would come up with. There is the truth, and it is real, and there are a million falsehoods. So it takes members that are living worthy of the Holy Ghost to find the truth.

When members aren’t living worthy of the Holy Ghost then of course they will grab onto one or another of the myriad falsehoods and claim it as their own.

But it is just as false to take a few scriptures and insist that the official doctrine of the church is that those verses constitute the complete story. To do so is not to hold to the truth, it is to grab hold to one of the million falsehoods we should be fleeing and make it dogmatic instead.

The revelations are perfectly true, but to take the fragments we have and determine that our official doctrine is that those fragments are the complete story is to set up stakes for God.

Of course Abraham wrote the record and drew the facsimiles

Yes, the facsimiles and their interpretation in the Pearl of Great Price is perfectly correct. Yes the record Joseph Smith had was written by Abraham’s own hand and the facsimiles were drawn by him to give us an idea of the altar on which he was sacrificed, as the record states.

The claims of the scriptures plainly contradict the conclusions of science. If you subject your faith in the word of God to the ideas of men then you have cut yourself off from ever attaining real faith. Had you stayed true, then these mysteries would be opened to you in time and you would know you were right to stand firmly by the scriptures.

And just as the claims of scientists contradict the record of the creation of this world in many points, so also the testimony of scholors contradicts the claims of Abraham. If you will stand by your faith you will know that you were right to do so. If you subject the word of God to the wisdom of men, if you humble yourself to the learning of men instead of to God, then you cut yourself off from ever attaining real faith. Had you stayed true, these mysteries would be opened to you.

The Egyptians were anxious from the days of Ham to imitate the proper order of the priesthood, and certainly some of them seem to have taken an eager interest in imitating those things done or written by Abraham, even though their meaning became changed and their form corrupted over time.

But there is no man alive that I am aware of who could have written the interpretations of parts 3,5, and 7 of the facsimile 2. Those sentences are too perfect, too right for any man to have written them except by the power of God. It takes more knowledge than any man now living has. No wonder the Egyptians wanted to copy them and adapt their meanings to their apostate religion.

I don’t even believe we have most of what Joseph Smith had. It is reported that we have record of one member stating Joseph had a large roll or rolls of papyrus, but that is far more than our little collection. It is also reported that they were in excellent condition, and that they were in black ink with additional markings of red, which doesn’t match the small portions we still have.

What must define us // Excusing ourselves claiming we are following the prophet

If the evidence of our goodness is simply the closeness of our
friendships, then we are not good. There must be more than that.
Wicked men have had dear friends. There were close friends in the
premortal life that were cast out together with the adversary.

We must be defined by our covenants.

We must be defined by our quest to live so as to receive the Holy
Ghost in earnest.

We must be defined by searching the scriptures.

We must be defined by our ability to judge good from evil by seeking
diligently in the light of Christ. Then we can judge good from evil as
perfectly as we judge day from night.

These days we are constantly told “Follow the prophet”. Follow the
prophet is good counsel. But if it is our only guide we cannot be
saved.

No one can be saved who does not keep his covenants.

No one can be saved who does not learn to live so as to receive the
Holy Ghost. How can you dwell with the Father and Son without ever
learning to live to receive the Holy Ghost? It is impossible. If the
gifts of the spirit are not our gifts, then we know we have a great
distance still to go.

No one can be saved who does not search the scriptures. How can the
word be found in us if we do not diligently search it? “If we have
heardened our hearts against the word, insomuch that it has not been
found in us, then will our state be awful, for then we shall be
condemned.” (Alma 12:13) We cannot reach the tree of life without
clinging to the iron rod.

I write this because I am seeing a plague of people whose only guide
is “Follow the prophet”. They try to use that as a substitute for
strictly following their covenants. They do not think they need to
quest for a life worthy of the Holy Ghost, as long as they think they
are following the prophet. They think following the prophet can
substitute for searching the scriptures. They do not think they are
supposed to judge good and evil for themselves by searching diligently
in the light of Christ, because they say they are following the
prophet.

Many are openly enraged at the idea that they should keep their
sealing covenant and justify themselves saying that the prophet has
not recently told them that they have to do so.

We know shockingly little about our scriptures. I don’t think I know
anybody personally that is an exception to this. We know our general
conference talks and think they can substitute, but that is
impossible, for God will not be mocked.

We do not judge for ourselves. But the Lord requires us to do so. If a
leader says something that doesn’t square with what you can plainly
discern by the light of Christ or the Holy Ghost or the scriptures or
your covenants, say to yourself “Well, that is just his own idea”.

If we try to use “follow the prophet” as a replacement for our
covenant agreements with God, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, for the
light of Christ, or for searching the scriptures then we must fall,
for God will not be mocked. He expects us to receive such gracious
gifts as will bring us to heaven with the dead seriousness they each
deserve. He expects us to also receive his gift of apostles and
prophets. But each gift must play its proper role. We cannot
substitute one gift for the others and obtain eternal life.

Yes, follow the prophet. Don’t discard that right idea just because it
is abused.

But do not abuse it yourself.