Boise Gathering 2008, Part 4

This entry is part 4 of 15 in the series Boise Gathering 2008

Getting into Trouble

JJ: As I moved along in the church I discovered a number of things that were not church doctrine that were true and I began to write about them, but I had difficulty in sharing them with anyone because the church kept telling you, “Don’t delve!” They used that word “delve” all the time and if you delved then it was worse than child pornography.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: But I was a delver and I loved delving into everything. Members would come to my home from the church and they would see all these weird books that I had on the shelves and they would say, “Aren’t you getting into dangerous territory with those books?” I would say “Well is there anything in the church that says that I cannot have these books? I guess not so I’ll keep these books.”

Audience: Laughter

JJ: I told them there is nothing wrong with these books and they have some good stuff in them. But I kind of kept out of trouble because I knew where the boundaries were. When you are in an organization with a powerful thought form you just sense where the boundaries are. It is an unwritten thing.

The people that are active in the church claim “Oh there are no boundaries and we have free agency and you can say and think anything you want. Well, as long what you say does not cross the boundaries then you are fine and if you do not cross them you can say anything you want but if you want to explore then you are limited in what you can say and I really found this out.

I started doing some writing and I wrote this little treatise that was only about ten pages long proving that there was progression from one kingdom to another. The Mormons believe in only three kingdoms after death, the telestial, terrestrial and the celestial and they think that once you die and you are resurrected that you go into one of them and you are stuck there. You are in that kingdom for all eternity and you cannot progress. Well this did not sound fair to me so I did some research and found some scriptures and writings of Joseph Smith that supported the idea that there is progression from one kingdom to another. So I wrote this little ten page treatise and when I finished writing it I thought the only problem was that there was nobody I could give this to because even though this is fairly harmless I could probably get ex-communicated for it.

Meanwhile my nephew Curtis moved into town and he gave a speech at church. When a member moves into an area they are usually invited to give a speech at a sacrament meeting. I have known him all my life and as a matter of fact he worked for me one time when I was a foreman at a meat packing company and I thought he was the worst worker I had ever seen at the time. We would be packing livers and he would be standing over the livers asleep.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: We would start at 4am and we would have to pack all this meat and ship it. I would often find him sleeping and I said if you were not my nephew I would probably fire you. Anyway I did not have a lot of faith in him until he moved back into town. When he was gone and he started selling pots and pans and he became the number one salesman for the company in this area and I thought well maybe the guy is moving up and good for him. Anyway he moved into town and gave this speech and I was surprised how intelligent his speech was so I decided to test him out.

I did this with many of my Mormon friends and I would invite them over and ask them several questions to see if it was possible that they were interested in further light. One of the questions I asked was, do you have any idea where the Ten Tribes are because that is a big mystery in the Mormon Church. In the Mormon Church they teach about the tribe of Judah which is the Jews and the tribe of Joseph from which many of us are supposed to be descended. The other ten tribes are lost and some people think they are in outer space and some think they are under the earth and some think they are hidden, scattered throughout the world and it is a big mystery as to where they are. In the church if you even talk about this mystery then you are on dangerous ground. But just to casually ask is not looked upon as anything but if you claim to have the answer then you will be in trouble.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: So I invited my nephew over for dinner and I asked him, do you have any idea where the ten tribes are? He said, No but I sure would be interested in knowing!” Well I thought that was ten steps beyond what I usually received. It is amazing that when you talk to religious people, not only Mormons but also, all of the religions, if you see any glimmer of light or curiosity beyond the norm it is very unusual. For instance, for a born again Christian if you go beyond the blood of Jesus it is a giant step for these people.

So anyway I thought, okay I will hit him with something that shocks him and I said did you know that the scriptures say that there are people under the earth? And Curtis said he did not know that. So I showed him a couple scriptures from Revelation chapter 5 where it says, “ That no man in heaven, nor in the earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” I said to Curtis who are these people under the earth? And Curtis looks at the scripture and says, yes it does say that doesn’t it? That’s weird. Who do you think they are?

I said well it could be the ten tribes, you never know. And he said, well maybe it is. So I showed him another scripture and said well it could be that because it says in the scriptures that the desert will blossom as a rose and the ice in the north will melt and the ten tribes will come down from the north after a melting of the ice and maybe the melting of the ice in the north will open some kind of a hole from the center of the earth so these guys will be able to come out, you never know. They could make the desert blossom like a rose when the ice melts. So who knows if that is true or not but you can come very close to getting ex-communicated just for thinking about it. Curtis was just eating this up and he said, boy this is great! What else do you know? And I said well a few things.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: I said I have this paper about the progression from kingdom to another and why don’t you take it home and read it. So he takes it home and reads it and comes back and says, boy this is really good stuff and I never really thought of this before and the only trouble is that the authorities don’t look at it this way. And I said yes that’s right they do not. So Curtis says, I have to think about this.

So the next day he was over at his friend’s home who was really into the church. He shared this treatise with him and they both called me up and they were both on the same line and Curtis said, my friend Neil was looking at this and he really has a good question. The prophet says that there is no progression from one kingdom to another. The prophet at that time was Joseph Fielding Smith and he had written books that says there is no such progression. Then he said, “Do you think you are smarter than the prophet?” And I said, yes, and all of a sudden there is a big silent pause because nobody in the church says that they are smarter than the prophet.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: After they gasped and revived themselves I said well it is obviously true, look at the scripture. For instance, it says that everyone that goes to that celestial kingdom gets a stone and that stone reveals there is a higher order of kingdoms than the celestial. Now if you are stuck in one of the kingdoms, and there is this higher order of kingdoms, does that means that you are never going to go higher even if you make it to the celestial? So you are stuck in the celestial kingdom and you can see this beautiful higher order of kingdoms but you are never going to be able to go there. Do you think that is what is going to happen? They said well we don’t think so. I said you are shown the higher order of kingdoms because you are going to go there someday. There are higher kingdoms than the celestial, which everybody in the church thinks is the highest. Joseph Smith said specifically that there is a higher order of kingdoms than the celestial.

Curtis said, “Well I have to think about this.”

JJ: So Curtis comes back to me later and says well this makes sense and I am moving down to Blackfoot and I am going to make copies of your article and I am going to share it with a bunch of people down there. I said no, no, no, if you share it with people down there then you will get ex-communicated. He said well it is not against church doctrine. I said technically no but you are challenging the powers-that-be with it and you will get us ex-communicated.

He did not think that was true at all and that I was just imagining it. So he goes down there and he makes a bunch of copies and gives it to various elders and friends and after about two weeks the bishop calls him in and says, now Brother Hartwell can I have your temple recommend. And Curtis says temple recommend why? He says I am taking it back for you have been passing around this dangerous literature. We are going to have a trial for your membership by the high council in three days. Now the only witness’s you can have must be members in the church in good standing. So if you want to call anybody you can.

So he calls me up the next day and says, they are trying me for my membership and they are only giving me three days to prepare and the only witnesses I can have are members in good standing and you are the only one I can ask so will you come down and testify for me? I said I planned on being ex-communicated someday but on my own terms. I said this is going to get me ex-communicated and I will probably lose my wife and kids and it will completely alter my life. You are now going to ex-communicated no matter what I do. Then he says yes but you got me into this so you have to get me out … PLEASE come down. I said well if I come down it is not going to help but I’ll do it for you.

So anyway I told my friend Wayne, that is in the book the Immortal, about this and he says with much enthusiasm, can I come down with you? He did not mind if he got ex-communicated at all. He was single and never went to church and did not believe in it much anymore.

So I said sure and we went down to Blackfoot together. After arriving, they were not even going to let us in. I later wrote the story of the trial in the story “Journey’s End” where it talks about Curtis’s trial and it was written fairly accurate as far as I could remember. I would not have known at all what they were saying if I hadn’t put my ear to the door so I could hear what was going on.

But they were not going to let us in and Curtis reminded them that they said he could have witnesses if they were in good standing with the church and Wayne and Joe out there are still good members of the church. Curtis had to be persistent and finally they let us in. I got up and started to tell them a few things about back in Joseph Smith’s day how the high council ex-communicated this guy for preaching the mysteries out of the book of Revelation and Joseph Smith came to them and he said what are you guys a bunch of Pharisees? He said we should have the privilege of thinking and believing the way that we please without being thrown out. He said you guys are acting like Methodists here instead of like Latter Day Saints. Apparently the Methodists were strict back then for now they are easy going.

Joseph told them to put this person back in the church and furthermore his teachings were fairly accurate. The next day he gave a big sermon out of the book of Revelations. So I said, If a man errors in doctrine it does not mean he is evil. If you think this man errs in doctrine, that does make him evil and it does not mean we should throw him out. I explained this to them and these guys were sitting there just about going to sleep and they were looking at their watches thinking they need to get home to the wife and kids and this really irritated me. I thought now these guys believe that when Curtis is ex-communicated that he is going to be like a son of perdition with no priesthood, no nothing. He is going to the lowest hell and they are going to send him there without due consideration, a fate worse than death in their minds. This really irritated me. There was this big unabridged dictionary sitting on the table in front of them so I took it in my hands and slammed it down as hard as I could and I pointed at one of the guys and I said, “You!!! You are putting this guys salvation on the line and you are not even paying attention.” I believe I woke everybody up at this point.

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: You’re putting this guys salvation on the line and you are sending him to a fate worse than death in your eyes and you are falling asleep. You are conducting this trial contrary to the order of the church.

Well they excused me as soon as they could and when I was out in the hall I listened at the door again and the stake president got up again and he says, “The guy has the spirit all right but it is the wrong spirit!”

Audience: Laughing!

JJ: Then Wayne came in and he gave his two cents worth. Then they wrapped up the trial as soon as they could and condemned Curtis into outer darkness. Then after a few more weeks the bishop drove up to my place with a summons. This took a little longer than I had thought but they had to send it all the way to Salt Lake and then back again.

Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey

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Eternal Lives, Chapter 2

This entry is part 2 of 17 in the series Eternal Lives

The Inseparable Connection

My mind reflects back now to another curiosity in Mormon doctrine caused by a lack of information. The Church believes that many of us will go to the celestial kingdom and there become Gods and have spirit children and eventually create our own worlds and people them. Then our children on those worlds will pray to us and worship us as Gods. Since the course of God is “one eternal round” (I Nephi 10:19) that means that the course of God in the past will be like that of the future. Taking this into account it means that our God at one time lived on another world like this. This is recognized by Mormon doctrine since Lorenzo Snow said “as man is God once was.” Now the question that arises is this: When God was on this other world was he the Savior of that world, or was he an Apostle, or maybe he was just an Elder who was a faithful home teacher? Then too he may have died as a baby and only breathed a few breaths. Maybe he was born during a Millennium and knew no sin.

Let’s suppose that God was a typical member of the Church in His day. He had to spend most of his life just earning a living. He paid his tithes and offerings and did his home teaching and obeyed his Bishop. He never had any opportunity to be a savior for he would have never dreamed of comparing himself to such. Finally, he died and went off to the spirit world and there by some mysterious process learned everything necessary to be a God. Now he is up there in heaven and we worship him. The question I have is, would not God feel humiliated to have a Son like Jesus who showed him up so much when he came down for his life? If this were the case then Jesus did ten times as good in his earth life as his Father did. How can I show due respect to a God that has not experienced all the tribulation of earth life that I have? Such a God could not succor me in every time of need. One can only have a very limited number of experiences and trials in one life. Each person I meet can only understand a portion of my problems because only a portion of his problems are similar to mine. What right did God have to command Abraham to take the life of his son or Jesus to be crucified if he had not went through a similar experience himself? What right did God have to expect his son to be a savior if he had not done so himself?

Let us suppose that ten million souls on God’s original earth made it to the celestial kingdom and became Gods. That would roughly mean that we have one chance in ten million of having for our god the person that was the savior of a world. Chances would be our God is merely some Elder that did his duty, but wait! The scriptures tell us that we are the lucky ones! Our God was the Savior of a world. Jesus said: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what HE SEETH THE FATHER DO: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” John 5:19-20

Here we have it! God must have been a savior at one time for what Jesus did when he was here was almost a carbon copy of what he saw the Father did. Our God then certainly does deserve our respect, but what about the other Gods who were not Saviors? How can their only begotten Sons say that they are doing what their Fathers did? How could they teach anyone else to be a Savior if they have not learned how and proven it through an actual life as a Savior themselves? They could not. To become a God we must “overcome all things” D&C 76:60 and “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” I Cor 15:26. Jesus overcame all things and the last enemy he overcame was death and after many lives it will be our last enemy for we as yet have not overcome all things for he “only hath immortality”. I Tim 6:16.

How could one possibly overcome all the weaknesses of mortality in one life??? Many believe that in some mysterious way we do not understand we will overcome the weaknesses of the flesh in the spirit. But how can this be so? If one did not pay his tithing because he was worried about feeding his family how can he possibly gain the faith necessary to do this in the spirit where he does not have to worry about survival? One can only overcome the things of the flesh IN THE FLESH. It is as Jesus said to his disciples:

“And I will show it plainly as I showed it unto my disciples as I stood before them in the flesh and spake unto them saying: As ye have asked me concerning the signs of my coming, in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds Of heaven, to fulfill the promises that I have made unto your fathers. For as ye have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage, I wil1 show unto you how the day of redemption shall come… D&C 45:16-17 Here Jesus was talking to the disciples during his mortal life and he commented on the apostles grumbling about the hardship of their spirits being separate from their bodies, obviously in the past. But if their life with Jesus was their first life, when were their spirits ever separated from their bodies and, how did they know it was a bondage? If their spirits had previously been separated from their bodies then sometime in their past they occupied other bodies. The disciples were merely complaining about their lack of progress between lifetimes!

The disciples like Abraham had lived numerous lives as shown in the scriptures: “And Joshua said unto the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, your father dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time… (The other side of the flood probably means before the days of the flood of Noah) … And I took Abraham FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan…” Joshua 24:2-3. This scripture certainly implies that Abraham lived on the other side of the flood, or before the flood, in a previous lifetime

It is as Joseph Smith said: We progress “from grace to grace and exaltation to exaltation until we attain the resurrection of the dead” History of the Church Vol. 6:306

Now the common belief in the church is that we are resurrected and then exalted, but Joseph here states point blank that we must first not only be exalted, but go from exaltation to exaltation before we attain the resurrection.

As we shall see it is obvious that Joseph believed in reincarnation, but this was one of the doctrines he had to keep secret and teach only with subtle hints except for some close friends as indicated in Orson Whitney’s diary:

“During our talks he (Lorenzo Snow) told me that his sister, the late Eliza R. Snow Smith was a firm believer in the principle of reincarnation and that she claimed to have received it from Joseph the Prophet, her husband. He said he saw nothing unreasonable in it, and could believe it, if it came to him from the Lord or his oracle.” Diary of Orson F. Whitney June 8, 1889

Joseph Lee Robinson, a contemporary of Joseph Smith wrote:

“We also heard him [Joseph] say that God had revealed unto him that any man who ever committed adultery in either of his probations that that man could never be raised to the highest exaltation in the celestial glory and that he [Joseph] felt anxious with regard to himself and he inquired of the Lord and the Lord told him that he, Joseph, had never committed adultery [see D&C 132:41]. This saying of the Prophet astonished me very much. It opened up to me a very wide field of reflection. The idea that we had passed through probation prior to this and that we must have been married and given in marriage in those probations or there would be no propriety in making such an assertion and that there were several exaltations in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, the highest we supposed to be the Godhead and we conclude that there are several grades of exaltations in servants to the Gods. Be this as it may, this is what he said.” (The Journal of Joseph Lee Robinson, p.12)

Orson Hyde applied the term “baby resurrection” to the coming reunion with our bodies. By this he meant that instead of obtaining new bodies by raising out of the grave we will become babies again by coming out of the womb of a female. From An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals Of William Clayton, pg 429-430

Other of the early brethren referred to the resurrection as “multiple moralities” and were open to all possibilities as to how the resurrection will play out.

John Taylor clearly pointed out the need to overcome all things before any final triumph: “If any man or woman expects to enter into the celestial kingdom of our God without being tested to the very uttermost, they have not understood the gospel. If there is a weak spot in our nature, or if there is a fiber that can be made to quiver or to shrink, we may rest assured that it will be tested.” THE KINGDOM OF GOD OR NOTHING page 345. “For everyone shall be salted with fire.” Mark 9:49 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even AS I ALSO OVERCAME, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Rev. 3:21

Any reasonable person will admit that in one lifetime it would be impossible to be tested in all things or to overcome as did Jesus.

Clearly, then, we are to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and eventually live the perfect life: “And he that overcometh and keepth my works unto the end to him wil1 I give power over the nations.. EVEN AS I RECEIVED OF MY FATHER. Rev 2:26-27 “As my Father hath sent me, even so I send you.” John 20:21. Finally 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

To show clearly that we only achieve immortality after we achieve the status of the Christ we quote: “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

Now I will make a statement that is beyond refute: 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 beyond scriptural argument 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.

The doctrine of reincarnation was revealed to Joseph Smith near the end of his life, but instead of calling it reincarnation he called it “eternal lives”. D&C 132:25&55. The church has always assumed that the reason the word “lives” is plural is because more than one individual will achieve eternal life (or the husband and wife together make two eternal lives) but this idea does not coincide with the scripture: “But if she (Emma) 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 (singular) 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 132:55.

Here the Lord was definitely speaking to Joseph Smith alone, not including his wife or anyone else and promised him IN THIS WORLD (this earth existence) an hundredfold of fathers and mothers (whoever heard of having one hundred fathers and mothers?) brothers and sisters, houses (know anyone who lived in one hundred houses?) lands (How could he live in one hundred countries in one life?), wives and children (Joseph Smith never had one hundred wives and children in this world).

Remember up to now the scripture deals with “this World,” not the next. However, the scripture plainly points out that only the last few words refers to the next world: “And crowns of eternal lives (plural) in the eternal worlds (plural). In other words, we will live many lives on many other different earths, worlds far superior to this. Instead of living on a telestial earth like this we will go to terrestrial and celestial worlds made of matter whose atoms vibrate to a purer tone whose nucleus of light shines through unfolded electrons until the bodies shine like the sun where there is no night. The highest glory we may obtain in this telestial earth (where we currently live) is to be “servants of the Most High.” D&C 76:112. All the worlds you see in the sky at night are of a telestial order. The higher worlds are in a light beyond normal vision.

Only in the Celestial and above can there be a fullness of joy where standard excursions into mortality will not be necessary.

Copyright by J J Dewey