Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 5

This entry is part 5 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism



When one considers the doctrine of reincarnation his mind would naturally wonder what the previous lifetimes were of some of the early brethren in the church.

It’s quite possible that their incarnations on the earth began even before the days of Adam for Hyrum Smith said: “There were prophets BEFORE Adam, and Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.” Millenial Star Vol. 23:Pg 406.

Orson Hyde also said: “The world was peopled before the days of Adam as much as it was before the days of Noah.” J.D. 2:79

It is true that the ancient continents of Atlantis and Lemuria did exist and some of the more recent prophets also struggled as teachers of mankind back at that ancient time.

We see from the scriptures evidence of the past lives of some of the early brethren. For instance, there is a strong indication that Oliver Cowdrey was Aaron. Oliver was told: “You have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron; behold it hath told you many things; Behold, there is no other power, save the power of God, that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you. Therefore, doubt not, for it is the gift of God, and you shall hold it in your hands.” D&C 8:6-8

This scripture is even more striking when one considers that a very important word here has been changed. The first edition of the Doctrine and Covenants read “rod of Aaron” instead of “gift of Aaron”. The word “gift” does not make sense because Oliver was told he would hold it in his hands. It is not a coincidence, then, that Oliver was given a Rod just as Aaron was, and his Rod generated power just as Aaron’s did.

It is also ironic that Oliver was the first with Joseph to receive the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist and he was the first one in this dispensation to be ordained in an earthly ordinance to this priesthood by another mortal, namely Joseph Smith. Oliver was told that he was “called and ordained even as Aaron.” D&C 27:8

Edward Partrigde was told that “he is like unto Nathanael of old, in whom there is no guile.” D&C 41:11 Could this be the Lord’s way of hinting at his identity in a previous lifetime?

Many of the brethren were conspicuously called strange ancient names in various revelations. No logical explanation of this has ever been given by the church. Again, was the Lord hinting at past identities?

Hyrum was Hyrum, King of Tyre from the Old Testament. Brigham Young was King Solomon. Just as King Solomon built the temple without the sound of a hammer (I Kings 6:7) so did Brigham construct the tabernacle in Salt Lake without hammer or nails. Furthermore, Solomon has sculptured lions on both sides of his throne and ornamenting his house just as Brigham had two of them guarding the entrance to his home he named “The Lionhouse”. Brigham was often referred to as “the Lion of the Lord”. You will also notice that many of Brigham’s sermons sound amazingly like the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes written by Solomon.

The Lord identified Joseph Smith in a dual manner. He said: “Thou art Joseph, and wast chosen to do the work of the Lord.” D&C 3:9 Which Joseph was the Lord referring to? Was this his method of telling him that he was Joseph who was sold into Egypt? Was this why Joseph of old, when prophesying of the mission of Joseph Smith, wrote of him: “He shall be like unto me.” II Nephi 3:15 Was he really writing of his own future mission?

Why did the Lord say that Joseph was “called and chosen to WRITE the Book of Mormon”? D&C 24:1 We know that, as Joseph, he did not write the book, but translated it. If the word of God is literally true then Joseph had to have been Mormon, for Mormon wrote the abridged book. Was this why, when describing his unusual traits as a young boy, his mother said: “During our evening conversations, Joseph would occasionally give us the most amusing recitals that could be imagined. He could describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and animals upon which they rode; their cities; their buildings with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship. This he would do with as much ease, seemingly, AS IF HE HAD SPENT HIS WHOLE LIFE WITH THEM.” Lucy Smith Biographical Sketches; Pg 85.

It is interesting that Mother Smith was speaking of Joseph as a young boy before he had any revelations. It sounds as if he was merely recalling his past life experiences just as numerous young people do today in increasing degrees.

Of course, Joseph and the other brethren had many other lives that are too numerous to mention here, but more interesting than their past lives are their possible future ones.

Many of the brethren were quite surprised that Joseph and Hyrum were killed because of certain things the Prophet told them. For instance, he said: “I prophesy and bear record this morning that all the combined powers of earth and hell shall not and cannot overthrow or overcome this boy, FOR I HAVE A PROMISE FROM THE ETERNAL GOD.” DHC 5:554

Because God had promised Joseph he would overcome all of his enemies he was very confident in expressing it. A reference is found in the scriptures: “I feel like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, AND WILL DELIVER ME FROM HENCEFORTH; for behold, and lo, I SHALL TRIUMPH OVER ALL MY ENEMIES, FOR THE LORD GOD HATH SPOKEN IT.” D&C 127:2

Joseph indicated that this overcoming all of our enemies is essential to obtain salvation: “Salvation is nothing more or less than to triumph over all our enemies and put them under our feet IN THIS WORLD, and a knowledge to triumph over all evil spirits in the world to come, THEN we are saved.” DHC 5:387

According to this then, Joseph was not saved for he did not triumph over his enemies “in this world”, but they overcame him and took his life.

Brigham Young was one of those who expected greater things of Joseph: “Yet he (Joseph) will lay a plan to speculate as large as ancient Joseph did; he will have power to buy up all the rest of the world.” DHC 6:16

Also the Lord said: “But a small moment and thy voice shall be more terrible in the midst of thine enemies than the fierce lion.” D&C 122:4

Joseph Smith was also promised that he would redeem Zion. (See D&C 105:26-27,37) He said he would be a witness to the whole world and then the end would come. DHC 6:363

The Book of Mormon tells us that he is the one like Moses mentioned in D&C 103:15-16. (See II Nephi 3:6-17) He said his father in a blessing “anointed my head, and sealed upon me the blessings of Moses, to lead Israel in the latter days, even as Moses lead them in the days of old.” DHC 2:380

Joseph’s patriarchal blessing even makes this promise: “Thou shalt hold the keys of this ministry, even the presidency of this church both in time and eternity…Thou shalt stand on Mount Zion when the tribes of Jacob come shouting from the North, and with thy brethren, the Sons of Ephriam, crown them in the name of Jesus Christ.” OUR LINEAGE (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1933)

We can clearly see then, without quoting further, why the brethren did not expect Joseph to be overcome and killed by his enemies. It was even the Lord’s intention that Joseph and Hyrum escape martrydom for he said: “I…will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through eternity…Behold, I have seen all your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I WILL MAKE A WAY FOR YOUR ESCAPE, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.” D&C 132:49-50

Just as the Lord prepared the way for the saving of the physical life of Isaac so would the Lord have saved the life of Joseph, and, unknown to most, God fulfilled his part of this promise for the Lord did reveal to him a way to escape.

When all the forces of evil came crushing down on Joseph and Hyrum and it seemed as if there was no way to escape with their lives, the Lord did give Joseph a revelation and told him to cross the Missouri and go west. However, his friends called him a coward for doing so and upon hearing this from a letter sent by his wife he replied “If my life is worth nothing to my friends it is worth nothing to me.”

This decision was his alone for neither God nor the heavens were allowed to interfere. They could only look on realizing the unalterable fate of his perilous decision. Although either choice required great courage, his love for the saints compelled him to return to face martrydom. The setback of his premature death was anticipated, however, and all the promises concerning him will yet be fulfilled.

Joseph was once asking the Lord concerning the time of the second coming of Christ and received the answer: “Joseph, my son, IF THOU LIVEST UNTIL THOU ART EIGHTY-FIVE YEARS OLD, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore, let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.” D&C 130:15

This revelation led Joseph to later say: “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written, the Son of Man WILL NOT COME in the clouds of heaven TILL I AM EIGHTY-FIVE YEARS OLD.” DHC 5:336

If he would have lived to age eight-five as hoped he would have prepared the way so the Christ could have reappeared and the promise concerning the building of the temple in Jackson County in his generation (D&C 84:4) would have been fulfilled. As it is the promise has been delayed because the saints wanted their prophet to prove he was a hero more than they wanted the words of eternal life.

All the promises made to Joseph shall be fulfilled for he will overcome all his enemies and will yet live in the flesh to the age of eighty-five and see the face of the Son of Man. He will not do it in an immortal resurrected body, but as a mortal walking among us again. Eliza R. Snow, the true author of PRAISE TO THE MAN knew what she was writing when she said: “Millions shall know Brother Joseph again.”

Parley P. Pratt was out of state when he heard of the Prophet’s death. He couldn’t understand why his life was taken before the Lord’s promises concerning Joseph were fulfilled. Wondering how he was going to explain Joseph’s death to the people when he returned to Nauvoo, he prayed: “O Lord! In the name of Jesus Christ I pray thee, show me what these things mean, and what I shall say unto thy people? On a sudden the Spirit of God came upon me, and filled my heart with joy and gladness indescribable; and which the spirit of revelation glowed in my bosom with as visible a warmth and gladness as if it were a fire. The Spirit said unto me:   ‘Lift up your head and rejoice; for behold! It is well with my servants Joseph and Hyrum. My servant Joseph still holds the keys of my kingdom in this dispensation, AND HE SHALL STAND IN DUE TIME ON EARTH IN THE FLESH, AND FULFILL THAT TO WHICH HE IS APPOINTED.” Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt; Page 333.

In answer to this revelation given to Elder Pratt the average Latter-Day Saint, without thinking twice, would merely say it has reference to Joseph Smith coming again in an immortal resurrected body, but an important point he forgets is that an immortal person never does the work of a mortal. After all, why did not Moroni translate the plates? It would have been more convincing perhaps, but it is the decree of God that man must work out his own salvation and resurrected beings do not interfere with that.

The Lord promised Parley P. Pratt that Joseph would again would stand again on the earth and fulfill that to which he was appointed. What was he appointed to do that he did not accomplish? We shall name nine things and point out that they do not fit the works of a resurrected being.

FIRST:   He was to achieve salvation by overcoming all of his enemies ON THE EARTH. It would be an unfair advantage with no victory, and contrary to the laws of heaven, for a resurrected being of great power to fight against mere mortals. If he is to overcome his enemies he must return as a mortal and face them on even ground.

SECOND: The Lord indicated that Joseph would live until he was eighty-five old. This he could only do as a mortal.

THIRD:   Brigham Young said Joseph Smith would be able to buy up the world as ancient Joseph did. Can you imagine the Lord sending a resurrected being to do this?

FOURTH: Joseph was promised that he would lead his people as Moses. Moses was a mortal so Joseph could not be like Moses if he was an immortal – he would be like Jehovah who was guiding Moses.

FIFTH: Joseph was promised he would be the one to redeem Zion. (See D&C 105:26-27,37) The one who will do this is referred to as the “marred” servant. (See Isa 52:24 and III Nephi 20:44) Does it make sense that Joseph Smith would appear to lead the Saints to Zion in a resurrected immortal body that is also marred? The prophecy of the marred servant would have to concern a mortal man.

SIXTH: Joseph was also promised that he would restore all things. We know that all things have not yet been restored. An example is the golden plates which were sealed. The Lord told Joseph: “I am the Lord thy God, and gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and RESTORE ALL THINGS. Ask what ye will and it shall be given you according to my word…For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make KNOWN UNTO YOU ALL THINGS in due time.” D&C 132:40 & 45

SEVENTH: One of the things Joseph was to restore was the fulness of the record of John: “And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed…And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful YOU SHALL RECEIVE the fulness of the record of John.” D&C 93:6&18

Joseph Smith was faithful wasn’t he? Then where is the fulness of the record of John? Obviously this can only be fulfilled in a future life.

EIGHTH: Joseph is to reveal all mysteries “until”the Lord comes: “And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which were from the foundation of the world, AND THE THINGS WHICH SHALL COME FROM THIS TIME UNTIL THE TIME OF MY COMING, if he abide in me.” D&C 35:18 Also see DHC 2:32

NINETH: Joseph Smith is to be the “One Mighty and Strong” and “Set in order the house of God”.

Let us expand this final point and quote the reference concerning this Coming One, for it is the most controversial writing in all the Standard Works, misunderstood by orthodox and fundamentalist Mormon alike.

“And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to SET IN ORDER THE HOUSE OF GOD, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God; While that man who was called of God, and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by a vivid shaft of lightening…These things I say not of myself; THEREFORE, AS THE LORD SPEAKETH, HE WILL ALSO FULFILL.” D&C 85:7-8,10

And how does the church explain this powerful scripture? They say that Edward Partridge, the first bishop of the church, was bungling things up, and the Lord was thinking of sending One Mighty and Strong to straighten him out, but Partridge repented and thus the prophesied person did not need to come. Thus the authorities have tried to negate the word of God for this is one prophesy with a promise of fulfillment. It is written: “He (God) will also fulfill…” D&C 85:10

The present day authorities like to think that this scripture cannot pretain to them. They do not like the idea that the church may be out of order and will require a new Moses to be sent to straighten things out.

As upsetting as it may be to the present day heirarchy we have definite proof that this warning was not to Edward Partridge as is claimed. Oliver Cowdery stated: “Brother Joseph says that the item in his letter (section 85) that says that the man that is called etc. and puts forth his hand to steady the arc of God, DOES NOT MEAN THAT ANYONE HAD AT THE TIME, but was given for a caution to those in HIGH STANDING TO BE WARE, lest they should fall by the shaft of death.” THE REVELATIONS OF JOSEPH SMITH by Lyndon W. Cook; Page 179; Published By Deseret Book

Furthermore, the prophecy pertains to the redemption of Zion which has not yet occurred and could not have been fulfilled in Joseph’s day. In addition we have a second witness to the Coming One in Isaiah: “Behold, the Lord hath a MIGHTY AND STRONG ONE, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephriam, shall be trodden under foot…The priest and the PROPHET HAVE ERRED through strong drink (doctrine), they are swallowed up of wine, (knowledge); they are out of the way; they err in vision, they stumble in judgement.” Isa 28:2-3, 7

Thus the coming of the One Mighty and Strong is established by two scriptural witnesses, which is discreetfully swept under the rug by those who do not want to be set in order.

Since the One Mighty and Strong will set the house of God in order, then that must mean that it will be out of order. In fact the church was not in order even in the days of Joseph. The Prophet said he planned “to organize the Church in its PROPER ORDER as soon as the (Nauvoo) temple is completed.” DHC 4:604

Unfortunately, he was killed before the temple was completed so he never had a change to set the church in order as he had hoped, and no one since that time has claimed to have had any revelation concerning the setting in order.

Joseph explained that the setting in order would be after the similitude of the parable of the wheat and the tares and that “the corruptions of the church are represented by the tares, which are sown by the enemy.” He said that the tares will be removed when the wheat gets sufficiently strong.

Who is this One Mighty and Strong? Some think it will be Joseph Smith because he said the revelation ‘often times…maketh my bones to quake…” D&C 85:6. But a more conclusive proof is found in another revelation which tells us he will spend numerous lifetimes setting the church and kingdom in order. “and this shall be your business and mission ALL YOUR LIVES, to preside in council, AND SET IN ORDER ALL THE AFFAIRS OF THIS CHURCH AND KINGDOM.” D&C 90:16

Some believe that Joseph will come as a resurrected and glorified personage because we are told the One Mighty and Strong will be “clothed with light for a covering”. D&C 85:7 But they do not understand that all men have some sort of light for a covering for we are all surrounded with a colorful aura which can be seen with sensitive eyes. Also, saints often noticed a light that surrounded Joseph when he was speaking by inspiration. There were those who said his face sometimes glowed as if there were a searchlight in his head. Thus Joseph could be a mortal with light for a covering and will also have the “scepter of power” which will be a rod like unto that of Moses.

Joseph Smith was aware that this was not his last life on the earth for in speaking to the Nauvoo Legion he said: “You have faithfully performed your duty, in preserving the lives of the people as well as mine. You shall be called the first Elders of this church….And your mission will be to the nations of the earth to preach the gospel, and you will gather many people to the fastness of the Rocky Mountains, and many of those who will come in under your ministery because of their learning will seek for position and they will gain eminence over you, and you will walk in low places unnoticed. Yet you will know all that transpires in your midst. Those who are your friends are my friends AND I PROMISE YOU WHEN I COME AGAIN I WILL LEAD YOU FORTH, so that where I am you shall be with me.” LIFE STORY OF WANDLES MACE, By Himself; Pages 131-132

Joseph will keep his promise and come again, for today there are many of the most enlightened saints who are walking “in low places unnoticed” who will be raised up to a point where they can be a light unto the world.

Also that “in life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated!” D&C 135:3 It is most probable they will be the two witnesses as prophesied by John in chapter 11 of Revelations for Joseph said he would be a witness to the world and then the end would come. In addition they will be the One like Moses and the Spokesman as prophesied in II Nephi chapter three. Indeed, we have glorious events to look forward to in the near future!

There is not time in this short article for more elaboration. That will be given later. The most important thing is to consider the words we have written. Remember that the Lord answers no one who takes “no thought save it was to ask me.” D&C 9:7.   So study this out first. Search the scriptures and your heart and then ask God with a sincere heart about the truth of these things and the Spirit will tell you that the principle of reincarnation is a true, holy, and just principle.

We bear witness to the principle of rebirth. We have tested the Spirit and know it is true and we know that he will reveal this and other great mysteries to all true seekers of light.

Let us remember the words of Joseph: “We should gather all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up, or we shall not come out true Mormons.” DHC 5:517

Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 6

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism


Reincarnation and Conflicting Scriptures

There are some scriptural sources put forth by a number of LDS students who make arguments against reincarnation. I thought I would make some comments on them.

First, let me make this point that is overlooked by both sides of the argument. There are scriptures that are in contradiction with each other on this and numerous other subjects. True believers think the cause of this in the reader, not the writers of the scriptures. They seem them as infallible and any contradictions are because we do not understand them in the same light as themselves.

The truth is something else. The contractions are caused by three basic things:

(1) The limitation of communication through imperfect language. For example, the words of Jesus in the New Testament are as clear as any ever written, yet they are interpreted in hundreds of different ways, partially because of the imperfection of language itself.

(2) Human imperfection. All people including prophets are fallible and do not have a clear understanding of all the mysteries.

For instance Paul said this: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” I Cor 13:12

Paul here admits he knows “in part” which tells us that some of his writings will present an incomplete truth.

Nephi acknowledged his fallibility: “And now, if I do err, even did they err of old; not that I would excuse myself because of other men, but because of the weakness which is in me, according to the flesh, I would excuse myself.” I Nephi 19:6

Here Nephi admits not only that his writings may have error but “even did they err of old,” indicating that there was some error in the writings of past prophets.

Then, in Alma chapter 40, Alma tells us of a number of things that he doesn’t know or even that “no one knows.”

All this points us to the main truth that I have emphasized throughout my life, which is that the truth cannot be obtained by merely relying on the black and white precepts of men, even if they be prophets. The only way to stay on the straight and narrow path is through leaning on the Holy Spirit, not the arm of flesh, even if that arm speaks to you from the scriptures.

(3) The third reason for apparent contradictions is that prophets in the past often felt that the people were not ready for the whole truth. This even occurred in Joseph Smith’s day for 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 want to call it blasphemy and want to take my life.”

Life of Heber C. Kimball Page 333.

He thus had to hide or veil controversial mysteries when he taught, just as did numerous ancient prophets.

Alma also spoke on this principle:

“It is given unto many to know the mysteries of God; nevertheless they are laid under a strict command that they shall not impart only according to the portion of his word which he doth grant unto the children of men, according to the heed and diligence which they give unto him.” Alma 12:9

Concerning reincarnation I have found that many more scriptures support it than seem to refute it and have written a whole book to this effect called, “Eternal Lives.”

There are a few scriptures, however, that that seem to support the idea of one life only with no additional chances. Let us take a look at some of them and see where the truth lies.

“And this is the manner after which they (prophets) were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.” Alma 13:3

Here we are told that God chose certain individuals to be prophets because a foreknowledge. And why did he have foreknowledge? Because at some time in a past life they showed “exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling…”

Now orthodox Mormons would interpret this as applying to a nebulous pre-existence in spirit bodies sitting on the lap of a heavenly Father and Mother with billions of others. On the other hand, because they exercised “exceeding faith and good works” this seems to apply more to a physical and mortal situation than one in the spirit where you can see God right in front of your eyes (according to the belief).

As it turns out, this first scripture presents a pretty good argument for reincarnation, rather than against it.

Anti reincarnation arguments are taken from Alma 12, verses 8, 18, 20, 24 & 32 and Alma 11:41-45.

Let us start here:

“all shall rise from the dead, both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?

It is certainly true that all shall rise from the dead but how this happens differs from regular Christian doctrine. John clarifies what happens to the just and unjust:

“The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28-29

Here Jesus divides all resurrections into two categories. The first he calls the “resurrection of life” and the second “the resurrection of damnation”. “Damnation” is a mistranslation. The Greek KRISIS is more correctly rendered “correction” or “judgement that forces correction” and generally refers to a lesser resurrection.

The resurrection of life is one where the disciple will have a secure place in the kingdom of heaven “and he shall go no more out.” Rev 3:12. “Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death…” D&C 76:59

Such a one will have graduated from the mortal school and not have to go out unless her chooses it for some reason for he can always choose “life or death.”

The second part of the verse says:

“…both the just and the unjust, and are brought to stand before God to be judged according to their works?”

The typical believer thinks that he as an individual will stand before God sitting on his throne where this being will expose him to be good or evil and then make a judgment right then and there about his eternal future.

The scripture is true, but not in the literal way that is assumed by believers.

We as humans are in the image of God. Joseph Smith even said we are co-equal with God. After death we become much more sensitive to the spark of God, or the extension of God that is within us all. Thus, all we have to do to return to God is to return to an awareness of who we are.

After death we go before a council of advanced humans who have this God awareness for a life review. Though this is sometimes called a judgment, as if we were being judged from the outside, it is more of a judgment from our own inside with the help of a number of elder brothers guiding the person through the review for enlightenment.

Here a small handful realize they have learned what they need from earth life and “will go no more out.” The vast majority though understand that they have many lessons yet to master and make preparations to go out again and be reincarnated into mortal life. This preparation can last just a few years or several hundred.

“And Amulek hath spoken plainly concerning death, and being raised from this mortality to a state of immortality, and being brought before the bar of God, to be judged according to our works…. and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just; that he is just in all his works, and that he is merciful unto the children of men, and that he has all power to save every man that believeth on his name and bringeth forth fruit meet for repentance.” (verses 12 & 15)

“Then, I say unto you, they (the wicked) shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption.” (Verse 18)

These verses point to important points that will frighten the rank and file into being better people but the way it is worded does not present an accurate picture of the judgment.

Enos stressed the idea of wording his teachings slanted toward frightening the people toward repentance:

“And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things–stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord. I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would keep them from going down speedily to destruction. And after this manner do I write concerning them.” Enos, Verse 23

This reasoning is pointed out in the revelation to Joseph Smith

“Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, THAT IT MIGHT WORK UPON THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN OF MEN, altogether for my name’s glory. … For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore– Eternal punishment is God’s punishment. Endless punishment is God’s punishment.” D&C 19:6-12

Here God clearly says that he allowed the prophets to depict punishment as being “eternal” and “everlasting” to appear as if it would be forever, “that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men.” In reality they are merely descriptions of God and do not mean that punishments shall not have an end.

Joseph Smith backed up this principle when he said, “I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man–the immortal part, because it had no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. AS THE LORD LIVETH, IF IT HAD A BEGINNING, IT WILL HAVE AN END. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.” DHC 6:311

Therefore, “as the Lord liveth” if a punishment has a beginning then it will have an end.

Alma was thus using the old fashion scary wording to frighten the people to repentance for if many prematurely know there will be an end to punishment some are likely put off their day of repentance.

So Alma presents the following idea to the people.

We must repent and be good people in the here and now else we will die in our sins. In this state we will be resurrected to eternal life, an incorruptible state and go before God where “they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption.”

This is true but not in the light LDS readers take it, just like “everlasting punishment” is not true as standard Christians understand it.

Some time after death we are resurrected to our immortal incorruptible state that cannot die and are brought before a council of elders for a life review. The judge is God, but it is that spark of God that is within us concerning which we now have full awareness. With the help of elder brothers we judge ourselves. Joseph sp0oke of this self judgment:

“A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.” DHC 6:314

If one has not lived a life of service and learned to follow the Christ within him then he will be as if no redemption has been made. Since he cannot pay off his debts in the immortal state he will have to choose death (D&C 76:59), or mortality and be resurrected (reincarnated) again into corruption where he can make things right and learn his needed lessons.

Alma continues:

“And we see that death comes upon mankind, yea, the death which has been spoken of by Amulek, which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state (the state where our God nature is realized) which has been spoken of by us, which is after the resurrection of the dead (After death when raised up in a spiritual body).

“Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, (separation from God back to mortality) which was an everlasting death (everlasting being a name of God) as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.

(The works justice demand that the person not remain in his God presence but return to mortality to learn further lessons and pay his debts)

Next Alma wanders off into teachings that are not literally correct as well as being in disagreement with other scriptures.

“Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

“Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

“Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, THAT THEY CAN DIE NO MORE; their spirits uniting with their bodies, NEVER TO BE DIVIDED; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.”

The basic idea here, and in most Mormon thinking, is that all will be resurrected in their physical bodies, but an immortal state, and in that body will stand before God and be judged. After this, only a few will pass on to the celestial kingdom where they will have fullness of joy. The rest will go to lower kingdoms and outer darkness where they do not have the fullness “the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness.” Alma 12:32

So, according to Alma, after the resurrection where all become immortal, the people will be divided into two camps: those who go to the Celestial kingdom and enter into the presence of God and obtain a fullness and those who suffer a second death and are denied the Presence, which would obviously be the terrestrial, telestial and outer darkness inhabitants.

The trouble is that Alma disagrees with other revelations such as this through Joseph Smith:

“For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive fullness of joy. And when separated, man cannot receive fullness of joy.” D&C 93:33-34

Here we are clearly told that when the spirit and body are “inseparably connected” that the person receives a fullness of joy. This directly disagrees with Alma who says that the wicked will have their spirit and bodies inseparably connected yet be in a state of death, separation and torment.

If a fullness of joy is produced by an inseparable connection of the body and spirit then any connection where there is not an eternal connection will not produce a fullness of joy. If a fullness of joy is not produced then the union of spirit and body is temporary.

Where is there not a fullness of joy?

Obviously there is not a fullness of joy in the lower worlds of the terrestrial and telestial.

So what does this tell us?

That the spirit and body can yet be separated and die in the lower worlds.

Those earmarked for the lower worlds are those who are subject to corruption to some degree. Where there is corruption there is always the disintegration of the form. The scriptures are clear “Whatsoever temple (body) is defiled, GOD SHALL DESTROY THAT TEMPLE.” D&C 93:35. All those in the lower kingdoms have sinned and defiled their temples so their bodies shall be destroyed. Furthermore I must point out that a Fullness of joy which produces immortality only comes in the presence of God: “In thy presence is fullness of joy.” Psalms 16:11 “They shall inherit the kingdom of God…and their joy shall be full forever.” II Nephi 9:18. Finally we see that fullness of joy comes from living a life like the Christ: “And for this cause ye shall have fullness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, EVEN AS THE FATHER HATH GIVEN ME FULLNESS OF JOY; AND YE SHALL BE EVEN AS I AM…” III Nephi 28:10.

That there is a resurrection of corruption is plainly set forth by Paul: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Often in a future life). For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh REAP CORRUPTION (Greek PHTHORA means decay); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Gal 6:7-8.

If this is so then how could Alma had made such a mistake as thinking that there would be immortal resurrected being who are in torment, rather than experiencing a fullness?

Quite simple. He could have been shown a true vision of a soul after death arriving at the day of judgment who seemed to be perfect in his bodily form standing before several Elder Brothers. Even though this body was composed of spirit it would look physical and he probably incorrectly assumed that all who are judged are in resurrected physical bodies.

The truth is that they are in their spiritual bodies and it can take the form of the physical at any time period in your mortal life. In the spirit world the spirit body can feel physical to other spirit beings..

If then “spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive fullness of joy” is true does this mean that there can be no more reincarnation after such a union?

To understand this scripture one has to understand what happens when the ultimate union of spirit and matter happens.

First, one needs to understand that the substance behind all creation is pure spirit. The only difference between spirit and matter is that physical matter is spirit vibrating at a slow rate and pure spirit is vibrating at a much higher frequency.

Spirit and matter are inseparately connected when the vibration of matter is increased to harmonize with Spirit. Then, in this case, spirit and matter are the same. They cannot be separated because they are one and the same and in this state the life can have fullness of joy for the prodigal son has returned home, having an enhanced appreciation of that home.

The pilgrim is thus in the prophesied state

Where God says: “Him that over cometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out (Shall not have to be reborn) Rev 3:12.

Even though, in this celestial state, the person does not have to be born again into mortality he still has free will and can choose death and rebirth if he so desires for it is written of those who have overcome all things that “all things are theirs, whether life OR DEATH, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” D&C 76:59

These celestial beings who have overcome all things and have raised the physical to the frequency of spirit can still choose death, or mortality if they desire. Their spiritual essence is merely projectted into a new physical body born into the world where they will have to again attempt to raise the frequency of matter up to spirit and produce another inseparable connection.

Before she died on December 5, 1887, Eliza told her brother Lorenzo Snow, who became

fifth president of the Church, that she “was a firm believer in the principle of reincarnation … [having] received it from Joseph the Prophet.”

Joseph indeed believed in the principle and saw through the conflicting scriptures on the matter where in times past the prophets spoke to the people in language “that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.” D&C 19:7

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism


“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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Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism


The belief that reincarnation is the doctrine of the devil can be traced to a statement the Prophet Joseph recorded in church history.   In November 1835 a man who went by the name of Joshua paid a visit to the Prophet.  The man evidently had some truth for Joseph said he made some “excellent remarks”.   However, he was suspicious of him and discovered that he was Robert Matthias of New York who had endured trials for “murder, manslaughter, contempt of court, whipping his daughter, etc”  Despite this Joseph entertained him for a few days and finally asked him to enlighten him “on his views respecting the resurrection.”

Matthias made four statements:   (1)  He was a literal descendant of Matthias, the apostle of Jesus.  (2)  The spirit of Matthias was resurrected in him.  (3)  The scheme of eternal life was the transmigration of the spirit from father to son.  (4)  He was the Spirit of Truth itself and possessed the soul of Christ.

To this Joseph Smith said: “I told him that his doctrine was of the devil, that he was in reality in possession of a wicked and depraved spirit.”   Joseph pressed him to leave and upon his departing he said:  “And so I, for once, cast out the devil in bodily shape, and I believe a murderer.”  DHC 2:304-307

Let’s examine the four statements of Matthias and see if Joseph Smith was correct about him.  The first statement is the only one that may be true.  It is remotely possible that he was a descendant of the apostle.  Presumedly he merely assumed such because that was his last name.

On point two it’s very unlikely that he possessed the spirit of Matthias, or was Matthias reincarnated because the apostle Matthias was a just and holy man; whereas Robert Matthias was a suspected murderer and wife beater.  People generally make progress from life to life, not go backward.

Number three is also false doctrine since the scheme of things is not to have one’s spirit passed down from father to son.  One is often reincarnated in a body unrelated to a previous life.  Eventually we will incarnate on other worlds.

Number four is also false; he certainly did not possess the soul of Christ.

Interestingly, we who believe the true doctrine of reincarnation can say along with the Prophet Joseph that the teaching of Robert Matthias is the doctrine of the devil, or from a deceptive source.

A second major objection to reincarnation comes from a misunderstanding of the doctrine.  Many think that anyone who believes in the teaching fear they will come back as a cow, a dog, or even a rock.  This is simply not so.  We use a series of embodiments to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to take us from the man to the God kingdom.  Thus we are in a constant state of eternal progression.

An exception would be a wicked person who  refuses learn from his mistakes.  Concerning this man  Brigham Young said that  “They will be THROWN BACK TO THEIR NATIVE ELEMENT from which they originated, TO BE WORKED OVER AGAIN.”  Journal of Discourses 2:12

“When the elements in an organized form do not fill the end of their creation, THEY ARE THROWN BACK AGAIN, like brother Kimball’s old pottery ware, to be ground up, AND MADE OVER AGAIN.”  Journal of Discourses Vol 1; Page 275.

The sons of perdition, according to Brigham Young, will have to begin their progression all over again and to get back to where we are now will take  “Myriads of years.”

This conforms to the  doctrine of reincarnation which is this:  That we reincarnate again and again on the earth until we manifest God.  On the other hand, those who are very selfish and evil cut themselves completely off from the Spirit of God and are broken down to their native element and eventually begin their progression over again on another physical world ages and ages hence.

The third major objection to multiple lives comes from the Bible.  In Hebrews 9:27 we read: “And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement.”

The “once to die” sounds like an absolute statement not open to debate until we realize that it is boldly contradicted by the scriptures themselves: “Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to THE DEATHS…”  D&C 132:25

“They (the dead) were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.  THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH.   And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast (to suffer a second death) into the lake of fire.”  Rev 20:12-15

Modern day revelation sheds further light on exactly what the second death is: “Wherefore, I the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the FIRST DEATH EVEN THE SAME DEATH WHICH IS THE LAST DEATH, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced on the wicked when I  shall say:  Depart ye cursed.”  D&C 29:41

What was the first death???  It was being cut off from the presence of God and being placed in a state of probation in a MORTAL STATE subject to death and disease.  We are told here with startling clarity that the last or second death is the same as the first.  Therefore, those who suffer the second death will be (1)  Cut off from the presence of God and (2) Suffer disease and PHYSICAL DEATH all over again. If that is not reincarnation we do not know what is.

After we are told that man only dies once the scripture says “BUT after this the judgement.”  The word “but” comes from the Greek ALLA which literally means contrariwise. In other words, it indicates that the information that is forthcoming may contradict that which has just been said.

That would  mean that “after this the judgement” may have an opposite meaning to “it is appointed unto men once to die”.  It would indicate an exception as in the sentence:  “I rise every morning at 8:00 A.M., except when the alarm does not go off.”

We shall see that when we examine the Greek word for “judgement” that the second half of the sentence does indeed contradict the first.

The word  “judgement”  here comes from the Greek word KRISIS. This is one of the most misunderstood words in the entire Bible.  Translators don’t quite seem to know how to handle it and have rendered it according to their bias rather than the actual meaning.  In the King James version it is translated as: accusation, condemnation, damnation, and judgement, but none of these portrays the word accurately.

The modern English word “crisis” (which is derived from the Greek word KRISIS) is a more accurate rendering than the Bible translations.  The actual Greek word implies a decision that brings correction. It is hard to give the meaning of this word with one English word, but the word “correction”  would probably be the closest.

The best scripture to help us understand the KRISIS is from John  5:28-29:   “The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (KRISIS).”

Here Jesus divides all resurrections into two categories.  The first he calls the “resurrection of life” and the second “the resurrection of  damnation”.  “Damnation” is a mistranslation.  The Greek KRISIS is more correctly rendered “correction” or “judgement that forces  correction” and generally refers to the second resurrection.

Taking this into consideration let us retranslate Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed  unto mankind  once to be dying, but on the other hand, after this comes (the resurrection of) correction.”

Paul also said that God “will have ALL MEN to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”  I Tim 2:4  Is God’s will not all powerful?  Does he not have power to fulfill it?  Therefore, will not all men eventually  be saved and return to his presence?  If not then God is powerless, which thing can never be.

The resurrection of  life, or “endless lives” as Joseph called it,  is not as easy to attain as people think.  We are told that in  the days of Paul “only” Jesus had attained immortality. (See I Tim 6:15-16) Paul also tells us that he had not attained it because he was not yet perfect: “If by any means I might ATTAIN unto the resurrection of the dead.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already PERFECT:  but I follow after.”  Phil 3:11-128

The writings of Joseph Smith are in perfect harmony with Paul.  In fact, he makes the resurrection of life sound even more difficult to attain.  Most Latter-Day Saints assume that when they are exalted they will automatically receive the resurrection, but obviously they have not read the teachings of their founder:  “You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely by going from one small degree to another, and from a small  capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, FROM EXALTATION TO EXALTATION, UNTIL YOU ATTAIN TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.”  DHC 6:306

We  not only have to be exalted once, but a number of times before we overcome death.  After all Paul said: “The LAST enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”  I Cor 15: Concerning those  who receive an exaltation it is written  “And they SHALL (not have) overcome all things.” D&C 76:60 Thus even after one receives an exaltation he has to overcome many things, and the LAST thing to overcome is death,  and this only occurs after passing through numerous exaltations.

All those who have not passed through numerous exaltations will therefore attain another type of resurrection called the resurrection of KRISIS or correction.  These are the inhabitants of the telestial, terrestial, and some of the celestial kingdom, but    not the sons of perdition.  These sons of perdition will attain no resurrection in this sphere of activity, but will be sent back to  their native element to start all over again.

The scriptures tell us that the celestial inhabitants can choose whether or not to be subjected to death or endless life:  :”Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether LIFE OR DEATH, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”  D&C 76:59

This is a very subtle scripture but there is no escaping the fact that the choice of either “life or death” belongs to celestial inhabitants.  After all, that is what it says in black and white.

If a celestial inhabitant can choose death again then obviously he would have to be reincarnated at some time or another.

Brigham Young clearly tells us that Adam was one of those members of the celestial kingdom who chose death instead of life:  “When Father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a CELESTIAL BODY…He helped make and organize this world.”  JD 1:50

He further quoted Adam as saying: “I once dwelt on an earth something like this IN A MORTAL STATE, I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation.  I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there shall be no end.”  Deseret News; June 18, 1873; Page 308.

We are clearly told that the celestial inhabitants have the are the only ones with any type of immortality: “For man is spirit.  The elements are eternal, and spirit and element INSEPARABLY CONNECTED, receive a fulness of joy.”  D&C 93:3

Who receives a fulness of joy?  We know the son of perdition does not and of the telestial inhabitants it is written: “These are they who are thrust down to hell.  These are they who receive NOT of his fulness…”  D&C 76:84&86

The terrestial inhabitants also miss this fulness: “These (those in the terrestial world) are they who receive of his glory, BUT NOT OF HIS FULNESS.”

Immortality in either of these two lower worlds is impossible according to D&C 93:33 because they do not have fulness of joy; therefore, their spirits and bodies are NOT inseparably connected.

Where does one receive a fulness of joy? “In thy presence is fulness of joy.”  Psalms 16:11  “They shall inherit the kingdom of God…and their joy shall be full forever.”  II Nephi 9:18

These scriptures indicate that a fulness of joy only takes place in the presence of God or the celestial kingdom.  Therefore, the celestial  is the only one of the three revealed  kingdoms where the spirit and body is “inseparably connected”.  Thus, of the three kingdoms, only the celestial has any degree of immortality and even there immortality is by choice.  They can choose “life or death”.  In other words, they can live in an immortal state until they feel they need some new challenge.  Then they choose mortality or “death” as did Adam.

The church has taught from the beginning that the earth is a part of the telestial kingdom.  During the temple ceremony in the telestial room the speaker reveals: “Brethren and sisters, this room represents the telestial kingdom, OR THE WORLD IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE.”

The description of the telestial world given in the Doctrine and Covenants  correlates with the information given in the temple  revealing that  planet earth (and possibly other physical planets) is the real telestial kingdom.

The highest inhabitants of the telestial world “shall be servants of the Most High.”  D&C 76:112 and the lowest “are they who suffer the wrath of God ON EARTH.”  D&C 76:104

We are further told that the telestial inhabitants receives “the administering of angels (as did Joseph Smith) who are appointed to minister for them, or who are to be ministering spirits for them; for they (us here on the earth now, the telestial inhabitants) shall be heirs of salvation.”  D&C 76:88

The original temples were built with three rooms representing the three kingdoms.  The saints progressed from one room or kingdom to another thus demonstrating with profound clarity that we pass from one life to another until we leave the telestial and go to a higher world, the terrestial, and finally, the celestial.

But that is not all.  The celestial is NOT the highest.  The scriptures tell us there are realms higher than this:   In the celestial kingdom “the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17 will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to A HIGHER ORDER OF KINGDOMS will be made known.  D&C 130:10

Higher orders of kingdoms than the celestial???  That’s something we were not taught in Sunday School, but there it is in the scriptures.  No revelation has elaborated on these higher kingdoms, and why should they?  The telestial kingdom that we are presently in  “surpasses all understanding”.  A description of any kingdom above the celestial would have no meaning to us in our present state of consciousness.

Those who fall short of the highest resurrection (the resurrection of life) and yet do not become sons of perdition go to the resurrection of KRISIS or correction and generally come back in another life to this telestial world.  When we fall short of the perfection of Christ the scriptures tell us that our defiled bodies will be destroyed and there will be a continuing separation of body and spirit until we overcome all things.   The word of God decrees:  “And when separated (spirit and body), man cannot receive a fulness of joy.  The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; (referring to our bodies)  and whatsoever temple (body) is defiled, GOD SHALL DESTROY THAT TEMPLE.”  D&C 93:34-35

Now we understand why it is written that “the wages of sin is death.”  Rom 6:23 When we sin and our bodies are defiled we are clearly told they will be destroyed.  This is why we are told that “the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” I Cor 15:26  We live life after life in the telestial kingdom each time sinning and falling short of the glory of God, leaving our bodies behind to be destroyed until we finally “come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph 4:13) and manifest the glory of God through a life of sinlessness.  At that time we “put on immortality” as did Jesus.

The Bible agrees with modern day revelation on this subject:  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God (sin), HIM SHALL GOD DESTROY; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”  I Cor 3:16-17

Paul talks about the two resurrections and informs us that one will bring “corruption” and the other “life everlasting”: “For every man shall bear his own burden…Be not deceived; God is not mocked:  for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall OF THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION; (the resurrection of KRISIS or rebirth in mortality) but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (or the resurrection of life).” Gal 6:5-8

The word “corruption” here comes from the Greek PHTHORA which is derived from PHTHEIRO the same word that is used when Paul said that God shall “destroy” the defiled temples.  PHTHORA indicates a state of “decay”.

Thus Paul is simply telling us over and over that if our mind is centered on carnal things we will not put on immortality but reap corruption, decay, and eventually have our bodies destroyed.  How else can this scripture be fulfilled unless we are born again and put  on mortality instead of immortality?  How can we “of the flesh  reap corruption” in the telestial kingdom if the inhabitants are all immortal and there is no corruption or decay?

How do we escape the resurrection of KRISIS? “He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life (the resurrection of life), AND SHALL NOT COME INTO CONDEMNATION (“Condemnation” comes from KRISIS and means the resurrection of correction):  but is passed from death to life.” John 5:24

CONCLUSION:  The scriptures plainly tell us that there are two resurrections.  In the resurrection of life we put on immortality, but still have the free will to choose death.  In the resurrection of KRISIS we  will continue to live in a mortal state where our bodies are subjected to decay and destruction.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 3

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism


Many people are very confused about who Elias and Elijah are after reading Joseph’s discourse on the subject. We need to clarify this before proceeding. He talks about three offices: that of Elias, the forerunner, Elijah the builder, and Messiah the teacher He compares the office of Elias to that of Aaron, Elijah to the Melchizedek, and speaks of Messiah as even higher. Joseph also writes of being visited by separate personages named Elias and Elijah.

These statements have received much ridicule from the Anti-Mormons because the name “Elias” is taken from the New Testament and is merely Greek for Elijah. In other words, as the New Testament calls Isaiah “Isaias” and Messiah “Christ” so does it call Elijah “Elias” because it was translated from the Greek and not the Hebrew as was the Old Testament.

Elias and Elijah refer to the same person in the Bible. For instance Luke 4:25, James 5:17, and Romans 11:2 definitely refer to the Old Testament Elijah but call him Elias.

I do not believe that Joseph was ignorant of this, but that he was describing three principles and merely chose the names Elias, Elijah, and Messiah to describe them. He could have called them A, B, and C. An angel that appeared to Joseph was also named Elias, but this was undoubtedly merely the name that Joseph decided to apply to it.

We needed to clarify this to delve into one of the most powerful scriptural witnesses for reincarnation which concern Elijah. Most LDS are familiar with the great prophecy of Elijah: “Behold, I will send you ELIJAH THE PROPHET before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6

Church authorities agree with us that this refers to Elijah’s appearance to Joseph Smith, but what few understand is that the scripture had a dual fulfillment. Elijah was also expected before the first coming of the Lord, and did appear in the guise of John the Baptist.

Luke tells us that John fulfilled the prophecy of the first coming of Elijah: “And he (John) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN.” Luke 1:17

Concerning John Jesus said: “For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I will send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent taketh it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, THIS IS ELIAS, which was to come.” Matt 11:10-14

This last line is a poor translation which is corrected in most modern editions such as the Concordant: “And if you are willing to receive HIM, HE IS ELIJAH…”

These scriptures plainly tell us that John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of the coming of Elijah the Prophet before the first coming of the Lord. Jesus even identified him as Elijah.

No wonder John was able to go forward in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was Elijah.

Those who do not believe that John was Elijah will quote the scripture where the priests and Levites were sent to John: “And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered. No.” John 1:21

Here it sounds like John denied being Elijah. You couldn’t blame him if he did because such an admission may have caused an early death sentence. On the other hand, Joseph’s inspired version tells a different story:

And this is the record of John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed and DENIED NOT THAT HE WAS ELIAS, but confessed, saying, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, saying, HOW THEN ART THOU ELIAS? and he said, I am not that Elias who was to restore all things. And they asked him, saying, Art thou that prophet? and he answered, No.  Inspired Version, John 1:20-22

Here it makes it clear that John knew he was Elijah come again. His answer was clear enough that the priests replied:

“How then art thou Elias?”

During the transfiguration we are told that both Moses and Elias (Elijah) appeared to Jesus, but the Inspired Version adds something rather startling for Mormon eyes. It says:

And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses, OR IN OTHER WORDS, JOHN THE BAPTIST AND MOSES; and they were talking with Jesus.       Mark 9:3

You can’t get amore positive I.D. than that. “in other words” Elijah and John the baptist were one and the same.

After Peter, James, and John witnessed this event they became quite curious about Elijah because the scribes had told them that Elijah had to appear on the earth before the Messiah. The only thing they had seen of Elijah was the vision they had beheld with their Lord so they asked: “Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come (referring to the future), and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias IS COME ALREADY, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. THEN THE DISCIPLES UNDERSTOOD THAT HE SPAKE UNTO THEM OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.” Matt 17:1-13

It’s amazing that everyone doesn’t believe in reincarnation after reading this scripture. Jesus reveals as clear as the spoken or written word can be that John the Baptist was Elijah.

Those who argue that John was merely like Elijah in his mission have no case. For one thing, John’s mission was “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17), completely different from anything Elijah did. Secondly, the prophecies tell us that “Elijah THE PROPHET” would come, not Elijah the symbol.

Modern day revelation puts a seal on the doctrine that John the Baptist was Elijah the Prophet, not Elijah in spirit only. In 1823 Moroni said: “Behold , I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, BY THE HAND OF ELIJAH THE PROPHET, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. D&C 2:1

And who revealed the priesthood to Joseph? All church members commemorate that great date when the priesthood was revealed: On May 15, 1829, as recorded in section thirteen, John the Baptist stood before Joseph and Oliver and revealed the Priesthood. Then he ordained them under his own hands.

Even though John only ordained Joseph and Oliver to the Aaronic priesthood he was the one that revealed both. At the time of his visitation he explained the function of not only the Aaronic but the Melchizedek Priesthood (DHC 1:39); thus both priesthoods were revealed by John.

After the Priesthood was revealed by John it could not be revealed by anyone else because it was already revealed.

Therefore, the only way the priesthood could have been revealed by “Elijah the prophet” was if John the Baptist and Elijah were the same person.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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Reincarnation and Mormonism, Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Reincarnation & Mormonism


There are numerous other scriptures that are only explained with the principle of reincarnation.  For the sake of space we shall just highlight a few.

 The Doctrine and Covenants quotes some of the words of Jesus while he was with his apostles in the flesh wherein he told them:  “For as ye have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage…” D&C 45:17

The natural question here is when did the twelve apostles ever have their spirits separated from their bodies if that was their first life on the earth?  Jesus had to be referring  to the space of time between lifetimes in the past lives of the Twelve when their spirits were separated from their bodies.

It is clear that reincarnation was a common belief in the days of Jesus for at one time he asked: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist:  some Elias; and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets.”  Matt 16:13-14

It is revealing that many of the people thought that Jesus may have been Isaiah, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets born again.  Jesus said nothing to indicate that anyone was wrong in considering this.

An interesting power was given to the first Elders of the church:  “And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is given power to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious; Yea, verily TO SEAL THEM UP UNTO THE DAY WHEN THE WRATH OF GOD SHALL BE POURED OUT UPON THE WICKED without measure.”  D&C 1:8-9

This is interesting that the Elders had the power to seal the wicked of 1831 to the fate of suffering  the wrath of God on the earth, which wrath would be over 150 years in coming.

How could the wicked of 1831 suffer in the latter-day tribulations if they are not reborn here on the earth to experience them?

Now we understand why eternal life is spoken of as being plural: “This is ETERNAL LIVES – to know the only wise and true God and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.  I am he.  Receive ye, therefore, my law.  Broad is the gate, and wide is the way that leadeth to the DEATHS: and many there are that go in thereat.”  D&C 132:24-25

Later in this section Joseph receives an interesting promise:  “And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else.  But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not my law.  But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an HUNDREDFOLD IN THIS WORLD, OF FATHERS AND MOTHERS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, HOUSES AND LANDS, WIVES AND CHILDREN, AND CROWNS OF ETERNAL LIVES IN THE ETERNAL WORLDS.” D&C 132:54-55

First we see that men will live eternal lives (plural) and others will suffer deaths (plural).  Next we are told of an amazing promise made to Joseph Smith that he will be blessed in “this world”, meaning on this earth, with a hundred mothers, fathers, houses,  wives, and that he will live in a hundred different lands…How is this possible???  How could he have a hundred different fathers and mothers unless he was born at least a hundred times?

Then after he leaves this world we are told he will have “eternal liveS in the eternal worldS” In other words, when he has finished his missions in this world he will leave this planet and work on even greater tasks on other worlds visible and invisible and attain many crowns.

This is why Jesus is spoken of as having “many crowns” (Rev 19:12). He has has many victorious lifetimes.

Copyright by J J Dewey

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