Sunday, August 24, 2008

#4 "It is not necessary that God should give us all things in his FIRST COMMISSION to us"

As I have mentioned up to this point, Christ spoke of three watches or dispensations. The LDS Restoration Movement with the restoration of the church through the Prophet Joseph Smith took place in the second watch, or the dispensation of the last times which secretly contains the dispensation of the Abraham. Joseph Smith and some of his brethren are to return to usher in the third watch and the dispensation of the fulness of times.

Joseph Smith clearly understood that he had been called to a two part ministry. One that began in the second watch and would continue in the third watch.

On January 16th 1836 he taught the doctrine of "second commission":

"It is not necessary that God should give us all things in His first commission to us, but in His second. John saw the angel deliver the Gospel in the last days. The small lights that God has given are sufficient to lead us out of Babylon; when we get out, we shall have the greater light." (TPJS 104)

Joseph clearly understood that his ministry would have two commissions. In his first commission during the second watch, the church enjoyed the "small lights" of the gospel. It is not until he returns and leads us out of Babylon that we will enjoy the "greater light" of the Gospel.

The next few posts will show scriptural documentation verifying the two part ministry of Joseph Smith and showing that he will return to fulfill his SECOND COMMISSION.

[editorial note: Someone named listener has challenged my interpretation of the above statements quoted from TPJS. Please see the comment section to see his interpretation and my response]


listener said...


I'm extremely interested in your blog. Thank you for your work. I confess that I have read many posts out of order, but it was a much later post that drew me into this blog in the first place, so something good did come of it. I'm now starting at the beginning so that my questions and comments don't overlook key prior posts.

My question regards the speaker of this "first commission" quote from TPJS, pg. 140. For several reasons, it seems to me that this is Joshua (Matthias) speaking, not Joseph Smith:

1) On pg 103, the second paragraph ends with a colon, following the phrase "therefore he should open his mind the more freely." This indicates that a Joshua quote of uncertain length follows.

2) The quote ends before the third paragraph of pg 104, evidenced by the phrase "I told Joshua," which indicates that Joseph is now speaking.

3) The same phrase goes on to say "I told Joshua that I did not understand his remarks on the resurrection." The only paragraph (between this phrase the aforementioned colon) which mentions resurrection is the previous paragraph, the one containing the "first commission quote." Therefore the Joshua quote ends in the "first commission" paragraph.

4) The "first commission paragraph" is disjointed, reading like a terse summary of someone else's remarks. The style is inconsistent with the narrative flow preceding the colon and following "I told Joshua."

Please let me know your thoughts.

Again thanks for all of your work. I'm truly astounded by your breadth of knowledge and depth of insight.

Someone who is watching said...


First of all, thank you for visiting.

Secondly, thank you for checking the references and holding my feet to the fire!

I fear that few people check my sources and research to verify that they exist, that they are quoted correctly and lastly, that they are taken in the proper context.

I have just re-read the quotes in question directly from History of the Church from which they were taken.

I must confess that your argument is sound based on the way it reads in both teachings as well as HC.

I am very open to the possibility that you are correct.

However I can see how it can be interpreted that Joseph is speaking.

Please note that shortly after Joshua introduces himself to Joseph the narrative states that,

“We soon commenced talking on the subject of religion, and, after I had made some remarks concerning the Bible, I commenced giving him a relation of the circumstances connected with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, as recorded iu the former part of this history.
While I was relating a brief history of the establishment of the Church of Christ in the last days, Joshua seemed to be highly entertained. When I had closed my narration..”

Clearly the main topic of the discussion from the beginning was joseph recounting to Joshua how the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of the church took place.

After that, the meeting ended temporarily,

“I observed that the hour of worship and dinner had arrived, and invited him to tarry, to which he consented”

When the meeting resumed the narrative states,

“After dinner, the conversation was resumed”

One could read into that, that the same content and format was resumed. In other words Joseph continued teaching Joshua about what had been revealed to Joseph.
At some point in the conversation we are informed that,

“and Joshua proceeded to make some remarks on the prophecies, as follows---”

I would suggest that perhaps the comments made by Joshua were stricken from the published history of the church and that the doctrine in the narrative concerning the prophecies of Daniel was given by Joseph. Very possibly correcting some of the things that Joshua had previous opined regarding the prophecies of Daniel.

The reason I postulate this is because the next statement indicates that Joshua was impressed with the depth of Joseph’s knowledge and he acknowledges that he (Joshua) should open his mind to what Joseph was teaching him,

“..he observed that he was aware that I could bear stronger meat than many others, therefore he should open his mind the more freely”

I also see some inconsistencies that give me indigestion and cause me to wonder if those that copied the original journal for the purposes of publication got the punctuation correct and also whether some literary license was taken in the process as well.

For instance, the statement “The Elder that falls first will rise [fir]st"

If that statement was made by Joshua seems very odd.

He was not a member of the restored church and we have no reason to believe he was a member of any church.

He was a traveling heretic running from justice...

Why was he speaking about the order of “elders” in the resurrection?

what "elders" would he be talking about?

In fact, he had introduced himself as,

"Joshua, the Jewish Minister."

We have no reason to believe that he was even Christian!

Why is he speaking about the order of elders in the resurrection?

to be continued..

Someone who is watching said...

The next statement seems to fit what Joseph would have said about himself, after all, most visitors calling on Joseph were asking questions about the restoration, not expounding on their own beliefs,

“I have risen up out of obscurity, but was looked up to in temporal things when but a youth.”

That statement is a perfect description of Joseph Smith… both from a scriptural perspective as well as a historical one.

That is how Joseph viewed himself and how he portrayed himself.

He grew up in obscurity and was contracted by people to use his “gift” for temporal purposes… looking for temporal treasures.

Please note the following statement he made about himself wherein he describes himself as an “obscure boy”,

“I soon found, however, that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me. JS-H 1: 22-23

His statement that he was an “obscure boy” seems very closely linked to the statement just prior to the quote about the first and second commissions.

Additionally, notice how modern revelation identifies joseph and the other first laborers as having the mission of bringing forth the church “out of obscurity”,

“And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon.
And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually— D&C 1

rowing up in obscurity and poverty was joseph’s prophetic trademark.. he probably saw a typological relation to the following verse

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isa 53 yes I realize you probably thing this verse refers to Christ, but as you continue reading the blog posts you will realize that virtually all prophecies have a dual fulfillment, literal and shadow fulfillments)

Another statement that seems likely that Joseph made and that Joshua likely didn’t make is what was stated just after the “second commission” statement,

“John saw the angel deliver the Gospel in the last days. The small lights that God has given are sufficient to lead us out of Babylon; when we get out, we shall have the greater light.”

That is totally consistent with what Joseph had been telling Joshua initially about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the church out of obscurity as a result of the gospel being delivered be an angel.

It hardly seems consistent that a jewish minister is speaking about the restoration of the Gospel in the last days by an angel.

to be cont...

Someone who is watching said...

Another thing that seems inconsistent to me and causes me to think that the quote in question was given by Joseph is that by the time Joseph had established the church and was receiving personal revelation, very rarely did he subject himself to being taught by anyone other than God… particularly when they were unbelieving non-members.

Sidney rigdon is one of the few people who ever counseled Joseph doctrinally and may have provided Joseph with some historical context to the scriptures.

Joseph’s stance on this was not because he was arrogant but rather because of the following declaration and commandment from God that came later to the elders of the church,

“Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit”

Once the gospel had been restored, along with additional scripture and priesthood authority and the saving ordinances of the gospel, including personal revelation via the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord wanted Joseph and the Leading brethren to teach others not be taught by them…

In light of how the Lord expected Joseph to teach and not be taught, the following statement seems a little strange,

“I told Joshua I did not understand his remarks on the resurrection, and wished him to explain..”

It seems inconsistent to me that Joseph was quizzing someone like Joshua about the resurrection when he was receiving direct revelation from God on such matters.

It seems even stranger that he would record so much of the doctrinal content of Joshua in the historical journal of the church by someone that was ultimately cast off as a follower of the devil,

“…I told him, that my God told me, that his god was the devil, and I could not keep him any longer, and he must depart. And so I, for once, cast out the devil in bodily shape, and I believe a murderer.”

Nevertheless, the commandment for the elders to teach and not be taught did come sometime after the Joshua incident and it is interesting that Joseph apparently allowed Joshua to discourse in front of some of the local congregation…

I can see how Joseph may have provided the dialogue in the journal for historical context.

I find the following statement from Joseph quite significant,

“During all this time I did not contradict his sentiments, wishing to draw out all that I could concerning his faith.”

Perhaps Joseph was simply allowing a false teacher to have his opportunity, after which Joseph exposed his soul to the world.

Perhaps one of the most important statements in the narrative pertaining to the credibility and significance of the "second commission" doctrine is what Joseph Said about Joshua,

“He made some very excellent remarks, but his mind was evidently filled with darkness.”

What an interesting observation!

Joseph obviously agreed with much of what Joshua was saying!

Even though his mind with filled with darkness, he had much truth.

Someone who is watching said...

I would suggest that joseph probably made the statements about the gospel being restored by an angel and about the first and second commissions of the elders, HOWEVER, even if Joshua made those statements, Joseph was agreeing with them!

We know this because Joseph made similar statements about the angel delivering the gospel at other times and the scriptures validate the second commission doctrine.

Therefore those observations, regardless of who was making them still provide a dot that can be connected to the other fifty dots that I provide in the blog, providing evidence that the marvelous work did not come forth during the time that the foundation was laid, rather, it was to come forth at a later time.

If my entire premise was built upon this one passage out of the history of the church, my postulation and supporting evidence would admittedly be pretty weak.

However, when viewed with the context and validation provided by all of the other evidences I have provided, particularly the statement is section 88:80, “WHEN I SHALL SEND YOU AGAIN”, it is pretty well documented.

I do however, appreciate your comment and observation and I will update the post in question to note your observation so that people will be directed to your remarks and my response.

I is very possible that the narrative is written precisely as given in the original journals and is historically accurate. In which case I have no doubt that your comments are pertinent, however, even it that is the case, I still see the "second commission" doctrine as a credible one, even if brought to light by someone with a darkened mind.

Again, I thank you for bringing this to my attention and the attention of my readers.

Thank you for paying attention to detail…

and for WATCHING.

Someone who is watching said...

I got out of bed this AM and began ready comments before I actually totally woke up.

The following comment was made by "listener" but I accidentally deleted it and this blog service does not allow me to publish a comment after it has been deleted,

"What a thorough response! You certainly raise some excellent points. I hoped for a fair-minded, truth-seeking, well-considered response, and you did not disappoint. Thanks, Watcher."

Thank you again for your response listener


Anonymous said...


The post and comments caused me to read again Isaiah 53. In verse 6, Isaiah says that we all "like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;"

In my time, many people have come to view all comparisons to sheep as pejoratives, e.g. "sheeple" who do nothing but follow what they are told.

It's interesting that the meanings have apparently reversed since the time of Isaiah, or maybe it's just two different cultures looking at opposite sides of the same coin.

Having had that thought, I came to find it FAR MORE interesting that in the very next verse (7) Isaiah compares the Christ-type to a sheep also!

"he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Aside from the insignificant cultural note, Isaiah's sheep image still appears to take on contrary meanings - willful then docile. Do you have any commentary or thoughts on the meaning of these things?

Someone who is watching said...

Let me suggest that if you back up to Isaiah 52:13 you will see the Hebrew chapter division, which means that the marred servant in chapter 52:14 is the same as the suffering servant in chapter 53 which brings me to my next point.

Virtually all prophecies have a dual fulfillment, a "literal fulfillment" and a "shadow fulfillment".

In verse 53:1, the term "arm of the Lord" is usually referring to Christ's Davidic servant of the vineyard.

Furthermore, the term LORD in caps, as in 53:6 usually refers to Jehovah, not the Father.

In other words, although the servant in Isaiah 53 is typological to Christ's ministry, it also has another application.

This chapter speaks of a Davidic servant that provides an intercessory offering for rebellious latter day Israel much like Moses did for ancient Israel.

Compare the phrase an "offering for sin" in 53:10 to the "sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness in mal and then in D&C 13

See if those observations spark any ideas