ONE LIFE OR MANY?
“Great God! Where is common sense and reason? Is there none on the earth?” exclaimed a somewhat frustrated Joseph Smith as he was trying to drill the simplest logic into the minds of the saints. (See Documentary History of the Church Vol 5:297)
He also said: “There has been great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the saints are slow to understand. I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, WILL FLY TO PIECES LIKE GLASS as soon as anything comes that is CONTRARY TO THEIR TRADITIONS: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen.” DHC 6:183-185
Here we see Joseph’s feelings after trying to teach the simplest truths. Imagine the difficulty he would have had if he had taught about reincarnation. We will show that he believed in the doctrine, but wisely kept it to himself for this was one of the hidden mysteries that he dared not reveal.
The teaching of reincarnation as presented here is truly a two edged sword. Members of the Mormon Church cannot be luke warm to this revealed concept. They will either delight in the truth of this glorious revelation, or fight with all their strength to denounce it as a doctrine of the devil.
This article will prove beyond refutation that the latter simply cannot be done! All truth is logical and we will show without doubt from the scriptures and the words of the prophets that the holy doctrine of reincarnation provides the only possible solution to the dilemma regarding the injustices among men and the salvation of his eternal soul.
Will good LDS members fly apart like glass as the true doctrine of eternal lives is now clearly presented, or will they open their hearts and minds and let the Holy Spirit of God verify these things to them as it has to us?
We’ll begin with two well known statements made by Joseph Smith that strongly indicate that he knew of the doctrine of multiple lives, but felt it would be disaster to express it publicly. To the Twelve he said: “Would to God, brethren, I could tell you WHO I AM! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy and want to take my life.” (Life of Heber C. Kimball; Page 333)
On Sunday, April 7, 1844, just two months before his martyrdom he gave one of his strongest public hints to the fact that he had previous lives he could not reveal. This was his finest hour as he addressed twenty thousand Saints on the character of God at the funeral of King Follett. At the end of this, one of his last sermons on the earth, he said: “NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY. I CANNOT TELL IT. I shall never undertake it. I don’t blame anyone for not believing my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I would have not believed it myself…When I am called by the trump of the archangel and weighed in the balance, YOU WILL ALL KNOW ME THEN. I add no more. God bless you all. Amen” [Documentary History of the Church; Vol 6: Page 317]
What was there in his history that “no man” knew and that he could not tell? Why would those closest to him want to take his life if he revealed himself? These were indeed strange statements from the Prophet for many were quite familiar with his history as Joseph Smith. In fact, he insisted on having a scribe by his side at all times for the purpose of keeping an exact historical record. Whatever it was in his history that he was holding back was never clearly revealed to the church in his age or in the present age. One thing we do know for sure, however, is that it would have been startling.
What would the saints have done if he had said something like this? “Brethren, I wish to reveal myself unto you. Keeping this within myself has been a heavy burden and I wish to unload it. Let me read you a verse from Daniel, chapter twelve, verses ten and thirteen concerning a promise to this man: ‘Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand… But go thy way until the end be: for thou shalt rest, AND STAND IN THY LOT AT THE END OF DAYS.’
“Here we are told, brethren, that there are many things to transpire in the latter days that only the wise will understand, so use wisdom, and know that the prophecy made to Daniel is now fulfilled and will yet be fulfilled in a greater measure for Daniel is here standing before you, only he is now known as Brother Joseph. Before my life as Daniel, I reigned as King David, and before that I was Joseph who was sold into Egypt. In more recent history I was Mormon, so you see that when Moroni appeared to me he was not working with any stranger.
“This is not all. I am a stranger and pilgrim to this planet and have lived in other star systems in ages past where I learned the lessons necessary to fulfill my mission on the earth which encompasses not only past lives, and the present, but future lives as well…“
We ask you. Would a revelation such as that have evoked a response or not? The reaction would have been violent. The brethren would have been so shocked and angry that they would have decided that Joseph would have to be silenced to save the honor of the church, and they would have killed him in the name of the Kingdom of God
Unfortunately, the time was not ripe to reveal the doctrine of reincarnation, or “eternal lives” as Joseph called it, for the people would have hardened their hearts to that truth and it would have hindered the church of God. The Prophet realized this when he stated: “It is not always wise to relate all truth.” DHC 6:608.
He also said: “The design of the great God in sending us into this world, and organizing us to prepare us for the eternal worlds, I SHALL KEEP IN MY OWN BOSOM at present.” DHC 5:403
In addition he said: “I have NEVER had the opportunity to give them (the saints) the plan that God has revealed to me.” DHC 3:286
Now the average Mormon believes he has a pretty good grasp of the plan of salvation and the reason for his mortal existence, but the founder, Joseph Smith, said he was not even able to reveal it. Therefore, none of the members of the church today are even aware of “the design of the great God in sending us into this world” for that design includes a series of rebirths until each of us eventually attains perfection..
Joseph also refused to elaborate on the conversation of Jesus and Nicodemus when he was asked the meaning of “Except a man be born of water and the spirit?” (See DHC 5:325)
Are not we all aware that this merely refers to baptism and the receiving of the Holy Ghost? Members in Joseph’s time were also aware of this. Therefore, what interpretation of this scripture was Joseph keeping from us?
Let us review it and see: Jesus was talking with Nicodemus and said: “Except a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
“Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit.
“Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?” John 3:3-10
Jesus began the conversation by making the point blank statement that a man must be born again to see the kingdom and Nicodemus immediately assumed he was referring to some kind of physical rebirth. Jesus did not deny this, but began to elaborate and tell Nicodemus that a person must go through two rebirths to see the kingdom of God.
The first rebirth is of the flesh. A person born in the flesh is “born of water”, for before birth a baby is completely submerged in water in the mother’s womb. Baptism is given as a symbol of rebirth, or reincarnation, but the real meaning here that Joseph was hesitant to reveal is that the physical kingdom of God was not to manifest in the days of Jesus and one must be born again in the flesh (reincarnated in a future age) to see it.
Jesus also said that the kingdom of God is within us. This is the Spiritual kingdom, and to see this one must be born again of the Spirit and receive the Holy Ghost. Those who are born of the Spirit are like the wind, said Jesus. You can’t tell where they come from or where they go.
What did he mean by this? It is quite simple. Those who are born of the Spirit as was Jesus and the prophets show up among mankind unexpectedly and the people they confront are confounded. They wonder who they are, where they came from, and where they got their great knowledge. To ordinary people these avatars are like the wind. They hear them and marvel, but don’t know where they came from or where they are going. People are not aware when they are confronted by an advanced being that is born of the Spirit because their identities are hid as they are born again in new bodies from life to life.
Those who are born again are free to come and go on the earth as they choose as Jesus hinted at: “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, AND SHALL GO IN AND OUT (of physical bodies like the wind) and find pasture.” John 10:9
Those who are not born again are dragged in and out of mortality with little choice as to where and when they will be born. A true disciple of Jesus has a great advantage in being able to plan his life and mission on the earth.
Nicodemus was astounded by this doctrine of Jesus. He knew he was talking about something deeper than ordinances and exclaimed: “How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”
If Jesus appeared to the modern day authorities in the Mormon Church and taught reincarnation would not they exclaim as Nicodemus: “How can these things be?”
His ancient answer would still be appropriate: “Art thou masters in Israel, and knowest not these things?”
Fortunately we are approaching: “A time to come in the which NOTHING shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest. All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.” D&C 121:28-29 “…All shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.” D&C 84:98 “And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven.” D&C 76:9 “For precept MUST be upon precept.” Isa 28:10
Copyright by J J Dewey
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