Saturday, July 18, 2015

Temple prep - "'We Saw the Lord'"

The following text is taken from the pamphlet "Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple" (2002) and annotated by me.

The day of the return of Elijah was a Sunday afternoon, April 3, 1836. A sacrament meeting had been held in the Kirtland Temple. Right, because the concept of the temple was more like a stake center or cathedral, not a Freemason temple. The Prophet described that afternoon in these simple terms:
In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us. (D&C 110, introduction.)
The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. So this is all imaginary...
We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. You know where else Joseph saw visions of gold? In a hat.
His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying: This is sounds like one very horrifying acid trip.
I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. Lord, are you really going to run through all your titles?
Behold, your sins are forgiven you; you are clean before me; therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice. Yay!
Let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name.
For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house. You're not pissed that they didn't built it by a beach or a lakeside resort, Lord? There's not even a patio for your sun chair.
Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house. Is this where Mormons get the misguided idea that the prophet sees and hears the Lord? Who was the last prophet who said he saw Jesus in the temple?
Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house. Tens of thousands? Proportionally to the world's population, that not very impressive.
And the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen. The fame of the Kirtland temple is known abroad only to members and they have been given a whitewashed and embellished version of its history and meaning.
After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north. Ah, yes, the 10 tribes!
After this, Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed. The "gospel of Abraham"? Is that the gospel where you circumcise yourself, your sons and all other males in your household?
After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: WHOA! Hang on a sec. You made a big booboo, Joseph. I think we can safely say you're pulling this vision out of your ass.
Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—
To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—
Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors. (D&C 110:1–16.) I can't wait for the day of the Lord. That's Sunday, right?
I saw Jesus in the temple. He was so beautiful.

It had happened! This signal event went unheeded by the world, but it would influence the destiny of every soul who has ever lived or will live. In the words of Ken Ham, WERE YOU THERE? How do you know this happened? The story appears grossly fabricated. Things began quietly to happen. What things?! The Church became a temple-building church. The Church is definitely not quiet about its temple building! It is very quiet about how the purpose of temples has drastically changed and even quieter about how the ordinances continue to change today.

In the world there emerged here and there, in a way thought to be spontaneous, people and organizations and societies interested in tracing genealogies. This happened thanks to John Farmer's efforts in the more heavily populated New England area throughout the 1820s, not Joseph Smith receiving "keys" in on of America's sparsely populated frontier towns in the mid-1830s. This has all taken place since the appearance of Elijah in the Kirtland Temple. Or do you mean Elias? Please reread my comments above.

From that very day, April 3, 1836, the hearts of the children began to turn to their fathers. Before that, all children hated their fathers and never thought of them, especially not to help them. Thereafter ordinances were not tentative, but permanent. Baptism was tentative before 1836? Ordination to the Priesthood was tentative!! Are you serious? The sealing power was with us. Rest easy, kids, this highly suspicious story Joseph Smith told means we've got the most powerful magic of any religion. You're in the right place! No authorization transcends it in value. So never ever under any circumstance take seriously what other religions say they have to offer. That power gives substance and eternal permanence to all ordinances performed with proper authority for both the living and the dead. You'll feel it, brothers and sisters. It will feel low key. Almost anticlimactic. Kind of like the awesomeness of it all was in what was said, not so much in what was done and what happened afterward. What I'm saying is don't expect to see the Lord or anything amazing like that. Keep your expectations to a minimum.

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