Precept Upon Precept
The doctrine of reincarnation will be a comfort to the pure in heart, a stumbling block and thorn in the side to those who make flesh their arm and rely on priestcraft, and darkness to those who reject it and are now in the twilight zone of belief. This doctrine is not a new revelation. It is believed by over half the people in the world and is also plainly manifest in our scriptures as we shall show, yet this teaching is declared by some authorities to be the doctrine of the devil. Since the church authorities believe this to be the doctrine of the devil, they are likely to believe that I am from the devil. This is no new experience for a bearer of truth, for of Jesus the people (especially the leaders) thought that “He hath a devil and is mad so why hear ye him.” John 10:20. Others thought “he hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth out devils.” Mark 3:22. Many thought that John the Baptist was a wild man and that Jesus was a glutton and wine bibber. Some Jews thought the apostles were drunkards. Lehi’s’ family thought that he was a deluded dreamer. Others thought Lehi’s descendants Nephi and Lehi in the third book of Nephi were insane. In modern times the world has fulfilled Moroni’s promise to Joseph Smith that “his name should be had for good and evil among all nations.” Joseph Smith 2:33. Many who are in darkness believe that he was lead by the devil. It is a common thing that when a rock of truth is thrown into a stagnate pool – there are ripples of repulsion and those who are in self righteous apathy are awakened and forced to fight either for or against God.
The time is verily coming when “out of His (the Christ) mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations.” Rev 19:15. The sharp sword is truth or the word of God, and that word shall smite the hearts of the children of men among the nations, “and the guilty taketh the truth to be hard for it cutteth them to the very center.” I Nephi 16:2. On the other hand, the righteous receive “the Holy Ghost even the comforter which sheweth all things and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom. D&C 39:6.
The doctrine of reincarnation is indeed peaceable to the righteous. Unfortunately, it is a difficult doctrine for the average Mormon (and most other Christians) to accept, and because of this I must present it with the authority of the scriptures for only by seeing how it is taught in the standard works can the average Mormon come close to accepting it. If one were to merely explain the doctrine with no authority he would be burned at the stake as an apostate if the laws of the land would permit it. The official doctrine of the Church is that only the four standard works are to be accepted as doctrine. Since the prophets of various generations have disagreed with each other, even their statements are not binding doctrine unless voted on and accepted by the church as scripture. With this in view we shall prove this “strange doctrine” from that which is accepted: the scriptures.
Alma said “Ye ought to search the scriptures.” Alma 33:2. Notice that he did not say “read”, but search. People think that if they read them they are fulfilling the commandment, but on the other hand those who do fulfill the commandment and discover “mysteries” are seen by many as agents of deception. Many rise up and condemn and become as Satan “the accuser of our brethren”. Rev, 12:10.
Many insinuate that searching out mysteries is wrong. I boldly declare this to be a doctrine of the Adversary, of the carnal apathetic mind who does nothing until he is commanded and receiveth no reward. D&C 58:26-29. Are we to be condemned for being like Nephi: “also having great desires to know the mysteries of God.” I Nephi 2:16. Chose ye this day! Are you like Nephi or are you like the-Latter-Day Saints in his prophecy that “is at ease in Zion.” II Nephi 28:24. “Wo be unto him that shall say WE HAVE RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD, and we need no more word of God, for we have enough!” II Nephi 28:29.
Members read this Book of Mormon scripture and think it’s talking about the non Mormons and forget that Nephi was talking to those who are “at ease in Zion,” and to those who “have received the word of God.” The LDS is the only major Christian church who has claimed to receive the word of God. “Wo unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men, for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” Matt 23:13.
At a general conference I heard a general authority say that he did not know all there was to know about faith so why be bothered about the weightier doctrines until we learn the simple ones. Another said the reason the general authorities repeat the same things over and over is because the saints have not learned them yet. Now on the surface this sounds logical until you actually try and apply the principle in any kind of learning activity. I remember-when I enrolled in Algebra II I probably did not know one third of what was in my Algebra I book, but I struggled at it and pretty soon the new concepts fell into place and I was able to grasp the higher principles. I found I began to remember and understand teachings I had forgotten or did not clearly grasp before. If I had applied the above peculiar philosophy and learned everything first in Algebra I it would have spelled disaster because I would have become very bored with all the repetition and frustrated that I could not remember everything perfectly. Requiring perfect learning before more is given could keep a student in Algebra I until he dies, and this is what happens to the to the typical Latter-Day Saint. The Adversary laughs and his angels rejoice that members are kept in Mormon One until they die, for he knows that “it is impossible to be saved in ignorance. D&C 131:6 “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world.” TOTPJS Pg 217
“Behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept… II Nephi 30-31. “Precept MUST BE added upon precept.” Isaiah 28:10. Interestingly, even the world in its folly realizes that precept must be added upon precept. If the world is this wise – the why not the church?
Isaiah gives a good example: “Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? doth he not open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principal wheat and the appointed barley and the rie in their place?” Isa 28:24-25.
Isaiah’s admonition to ancient Israel is still applicable today. When we teach the same things over and over to the same person for his seventy-two years we are doing what Isaiah says even a plowman has the sense not to do. Does a plowman always plow??? No No No. When he is done he “casts in the principal wheat” and works toward the harvest.
The Church has, for several generations, been plowing the same field over and over, but the seed which is the word of God has not been sowed and the harvest which is the gathering of Israel (Lights) into a land of Zion (not to church meetings), or the coming “out of Babylon” Rev 18:4 has not been accomplished, nor is there any concrete steps taken to fulfill the commandment of the gathering for members are “at ease in Zion.” II Nephi 28:21.
Now I proceed to fulfill a commandment “that the time is verily come that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, EXPOUNDING THE MYSTERIES THEREOF OUT OF THE SCRIPTURES according to that portion of the spirit and power which shall be given unto you.” D&C 71:1. If this means opposition, to fulfill this commandment, then one must drink the cup for men do not “light a candle and put it under a bushel.” Matt 5:15 Unto you who read this: “Ask that you may know the mysteries of God. D&C 8:11 “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Moroni 10:5.
It is much more difficult for a Mormon, or standard Christian, to accept the doctrine of reincarnation than someone who has no religion at all simply because the mind of a member is not open to doctrine that has not been revealed. If any unusual doctrine is presented to the typical member he will reply “If that is true why hasn’t the prophet told us?” For some reason he assumes that no one could possibly know any truth unless the prophet proclaims it. He also assumes that the prophet knows everything there is to know. Many believe that he has daily walks with Jesus. Why so many assume such things when the prophet himself makes no such claim is a mystery in itself. Brigham Young clearly stated that those who make it to the celestial kingdom must not “pin their faith on another’s sleeve.” He said that we must go forward with the independence of heaven and do what is right even though the whole world take an opposite course. Joseph Smith once complained that the members minds were “darkened” because they relied on him for all their inspiration.
If we give the prophet the benefit of the doubt and take for granted that he has knowledge of the doctrine it is still quite possible that he would not reveal it as it would cause quite an upheaval in the church. Also, an important principle members often overlook is that the Lord only gives to those who “study it out in their minds” and then ask. I doubt if any of the general authorities have studied this out in their minds, seriously that is. Position does not give a person automatic access to the mind of God. Faith does. Joseph Smith was a non member not ordained to any priesthood when he had his first vision. The president of the church has to have as much faith to receive a revelation as you or I do. The only advantage he has over the lowest member is that the entire church will listen to him. If this is true, says one, why do you proclaim your doctrine? Where do you get your authority?
The answer is quite simple. I need no authority. I am not teaching any doctrine as “church doctrine” I am merely teaching it as truth. I am obeying the commandment given to all members: “And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.” D&C 88:77 In Joseph Smith’s day the church was much more tolerant of individual expression. If a controversial doctrine was brought up it was presented before the High Council and the president thereof sought a revelation to clarify it. I do not expect any such consideration of these teachings. This treatise is not to the church, but to anyone in the world who seeks knowledge. If anyone has an ear let him hear. Who needs authority to present truth to the world? What authority had Edison? Einstein? Tesla? Bell? and others. They discovered truth and they were under a moral obligation to present it to the world or their talent would have been taken from them. I am a scientist like them. I discovered truth by experimentation and I present it. Like all revelators, the great scientists in the past have all met with great opposition when they presented their discoveries. These teachings will, of course, be opposed by those who do not believe as I do or cannot discern the light of the scriptures. It is no crime to disagree with someone, but when one takes a step to destroy his fellow man merely because he doesn’t like his doctrine, you may be assured he has lost the spirit “For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!” Matt 18:7
When any new or unaccepted doctrine is introduced to a people it has to be presented and accepted by only a few at first, then to others as they can bear the light. This has been the case throughout history. When teaching, Jesus took his disciples aside and said: “It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (the general public) it is not given. 1I Matt 13:11. Jesus gave the apostles many teachings that were never written down, but passed down orally for many generations because the common believer was not ready for it. Yet many of the mysteries are not lost, but cleverly hidden in the scriptures. “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.” Proverbs 25:2. The doctrines of the plurality of Gods as well as celestial marriage had to be taught secretly before they were openly released. This situation is not permanent however. The scriptures tell us of “A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld…” D&C 121:28. The time is rapidly approaching when all “who remain, even from the least unto the greatest … shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye.” D&C 84:98. Man will have so much pure intelligence he will learn for himself and not need to establish teachers over him: “And they shall TEACH NO MORE every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord:: for they shall ALL know me…” Jer 31:34
Copyright 1996 by J J Dewey