Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Welcome to the Christmas message from The Latter Day Church of Christ.
What a wonderful season! It truly is wonderful to be a Christian in December.
The Christmas season is a time for us to reflect on the birth of the saviour. It is a time for us to turn our attention to his birth and the meaning behind the birth. But not only that it is a time for us to look inward at the sorts of people we are. It is a time for us to become more like him who's birth we celebrate on the 25th of December.
We just wish to say to all who read this that we are so glad that we can worship the saviour on this very special day. We are Mormons but above all else we are Christians and we love the saviour, that is why when Christmas comes we join with every body and sing praise to him. Christmas as we have said is a wonderful time of year. It is a time to give gifts and to sing carols and to eat more than we can sometimes handle. But we stress to all that above all else this is a celebration of the saviours birth and it is to him that we owe so much.
As a church we have decide that this Christmas all our members will be giving gifts to less fortunate children who by no fault of their own will not be getting gifts this year unless people like you and i give them. Remember that it is the season of the Christ and he gave us the ultimate gift. I like to think on the words of our prophet when Christmas comes around and what he had to say concerning the giving of gifts at Christmas.
“Many people believe that we give gifts at Christmas as a symbol of the gifts the wise men brought to the cradle side of the saviour. As nice as this is, i like to think when i give gifts that i am doing this in similitude of the greatest gift that the saviour gave to us. That gift was the atonement. For that gift is transcendent above all else. That gift is worth more than all the gold, frankincense and myrrh put together. And it is that gift, the gift of the atonement that i think we should all keep in our minds when we give on Christmas morning. I believe that if we held that thought in our minds every Christmas season then we would be moved to do more for the needy and the hungry and those without. I love the Christmas season it is wonderful and magical at the same time. And i love my saviour. When i give my gifts on Christmas day i will be doing it in similitude of that glorious atonement” The Prophet Matthew Gill
What a wonderful thing to think on at Christmas when we are giving to our family and loved ones.
Sunday the 10th was the start of our countdown to Christmas we had the wonderful opportunity to start the magical story of the birth of our saviour and the events that lead up to his birth. Elder Philip Gill was asked by the prophet to give a series of talks that will lead up to the 25th of December and the ultimate story of hope and life. We are holding a carol service on the 24th of December and all who wish to attend are welcome to come and sing with us in filling the air with the true spirit of Christmas. We hope you have a very merry Christmas and that you feel of the Saviours love at this wonderful time of year. In the immortal words of Tiny Tim
“God bless us every one”
Merry Christmas To all
Posted by The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ at 8:49 AM
Thursday, December 7, 2006
Over the past week or so the church has seen the wolves on the scent, they are gathering and they have the smell of blood on their nostrils. I am sickened by the continuing abuse we are receiving from so called members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day –saints who have the audacity to call them selves Christians. May I turn your attention to the picture of Christ on the blog this week. Look at it for a few moments and ask yourself would he be proud of the things that you are saying?
I want to stress that the things that these people are saying are not the official words of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day-saints. They are however the words of people that are members in that church.
I write this epistle in answer to critics of our church. May I just say that although our critics say that they have no intention of debating with me or the church over the doctrines and opinions of the church, their criticism and persecution of what we believe encourages debate. Let me just say that I am all ways willing to discuss the gospel with anyone who will listen even with people that seem to have no interest in talking and only have an interest in persecution.
Let me first start by saying that the things that you have said and written about The Latter Day Church of Christ are only relevant if you believe that you’re church the church of Jesus Christ of latter day-saints is true, and I do not! What follows in a response that I wrote to one of our persecutors in answer to the things that were being said about The Latter Day Church of Christ and myself.
You say that I have “turned my back on the one true gospel” I’m still at a loss as to what you mean. If by this you mean the church then yes I have turned my back on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but let me stress that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - day Saints is not the gospel it is a church not the gospel. The two, the gospel and the church are two separate things. I still worship the Christ and I still hold him as my saviour and my god so I have not turned my back on the gospel. Don’t forget gospel means “good word of god” not the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - day Saints. You can not have one true gospel the very words is messy, however you can have a one true church. The biggest mistake made by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter - day Saints is confusing the gospel with the church, and I can see that you have made the same mistake.
You continue to say that I have said that I believe that the “authority of the church ended with the assassination of Joseph smith and that the gospel was taken from the earth.” Once again I think that you are either miss reading what I have written or your source is wrong.
To support your statement you site section 13 of the doctrine and covenants. I have read that scripture over and over and I still don’t see your point. All that is happening is that you are interpreting the scripture badly. And that is my point on this scripture; it can be interpreted many different ways. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints interprets it to mean something completely different to say the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints based in Voree Wisconsin and to The Latter Day Church of Christ. (Notice how we spell ours!!) You could look at this scripture and interpret it to mean that the gist of baptism will never be taken from the earth, just because you think it means one thing does mean that you are correct. Anyway this is beside the point I have never said that the priesthood was taken from the earth “I” have never said that. “I” have never said that the gospel was taken from the earth either if I may call your attention to the letter I sent to you “I” said the following and I quote
“We also believe that when Joseph Smith Died the Authority to act in his name was taken from the Earth because of the wickedness of the Saints”
You accuse me over and over in you letter of saying that the gospel was taken from the earth and it seems to me that this is your only basis for your argument, let me once again say that I have never said those words. So you see I have never made that statement to you in fact I have never made that statement to anybody despite what you may have heard or think you have read to the contrary.
You also say in you letter that we believe in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants. You also say that you don’t have access to a copy. That is a great shame I would be more than happy to give you one. The version you use and the one I use are extremely different. Let me explain. When the Utah, Brighamite Church published their edition of the Doctrine and Covenants in 1876, they deliberately left out Part One on Doctrine, leaving only a Book of Commandments. The teachings of Joseph Smith in Part one did not agree with the new doctrines on the character of God taught by Brigham Young. Section 101 in the Kirtland Edition (109 in the Nauvoo Edition), Marriage, was not included in the Utah Edition; as it did not agree with Brigham Young's new doctrine on marriage. The new Utah Edition contains many erroneous sections attributed to Joseph Smith; which were added by Brigham Young after the death of Joseph and printing of the Nauvoo Edition. Sections 108, 109, 110, 111, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 120, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126, 129, 130, 131, 132, and 136 were added by Brigham Young. Sections 121, 122, and 123 are letters of Joseph from prison. Section 130 is simply teachings given by Joseph. Section 135 addresses the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. The only section attributed to Brigham Young is section 136. Had the other alleged revelations in these added sections been legitimate they would have been included in the 1846 Nauvoo Edition. Also the paragraph format of the Kirtland and Nauvoo editions was discontinued in favour of a verse format. This often changes the meaning found in the original paragraph format. So as you can see our versions differ a great deal.
Another statement that has been levelled at my door and that of the churches is that we can’t be true because of the name that we have been told to call the church. What a wonderful load of tosh. There is no evidence that section 115 was even written by Joseph smith none what so ever as I have stated above. The name that your church goes by was not the original name anyway. The church was organized as the Church of Christ. Later when they went to purchase property in Kirtland they found they could not use that name. It was changed to the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints. The hyphen in the name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was added by Brigham Young. I mean you could argue that if it were all from god why would he have Joseph change the name so many times I mean would not god know that another church was using the same name. The name of the church has changed several times; as it is not the name that is important but the authority that it holds.
Towards the end of your letter you say that I contradict myself. I have never given you anything that would draw you to this conclusion. I have only written to you once. I believe that whatever it is you think I have said you might want to check on it. You also accuse me of demoting God to a heavenly messenger Where? In what? Once again come to the real source. I have been visited by heavenly messengers and I have seen the saviour, believe me I know the difference between the two, do you? My god is everything to me. The Christ is even given space in the name of our church, surly if I hated him so much I would not give him so much honour. When you accuse me of being in error and you say that my statements show the error of man. I would love to see these. I think if you knew anything about the history of Joseph smith and the early church you would hold back from making those sorts of statements. I have never said anything that I would not repeat in front of my heavenly father, my saviour or anybody else for that matter. I am not afraid to say what I have seen and witnessed why should I be, god himself has told me to proclaim the truth to all who will listen. “Could it be the error of man is the reason behind your religion” Maybe this is something that you need to ask yourself!
There is absolute truth in Mormonism; but only in one church. Brigham Young was not the only one claiming to succeed Joseph Smith. He actually split from the true church, was elected to the Presidency three and half years after the death of Joseph, and taught many doctrines contrary to the law of God. Above all things we must never throw in the towel, and give up, simply because we have found that one segment of the followers of Joseph Smith have gone astray and taught false doctrine. There is to be only a very small remnant of the saints of God that remain in Zion when Jesus returns. When there are opposing doctrines, both can be false; but, only one can be true. Only a very few will find the path of light and walk in righteousness. I would remind you of the following scripture “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt.7 13-14)
Your church lost divine authority when they followed a man that was not called of God; but, was only voted as First President by the voice of man. On June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith was murdered and the heavens welcomed back a true hero I think we both agree on that. However god did not leave us without instruction. God said “But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43: 4-5-6-7) This law was repeated in section 28:2, 6, 7; 35:17, 18; and 90:3, 4.
On August 15, 1844, a month and a half after the death of Joseph, Brigham Young announced there would not be a successor to Joseph; and that the twelve Apostles would lead the church. “Let no man presume for a moment that his place will be filled by another.” The Twelve will preside over all the affairs of the church in all the world.” (Times and Seasons, 5.618)
“The Twelve are a Travelling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.” (D&C 107:33)
The Twelve had no jurisdiction in Zion. They had usurped the authority of God in attempting to stand at the head. The remedy was to establish Brigham as Prophet, by the voice of man; although the law required a calling by Joseph and ordination at the hands of angels. “For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:7)
“It was moved and seconded that Brigham Young should be our First President. It was carried unanimously.” Brigham was never ordained as a Prophet either by God, or by man. When they split from the only true succession in the prophetic office, they lost communication with God, were driven from Nauvoo, and settled in a waste land never appointed of God. “For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.” (Jer. 17:6)
The gospel and divine authority were restored in the last days. If there is any hope of finding one sent of God, it must be through that restoration and Joseph Smith. Do not look for a great church with all the splendor of the world. Such works of hands have been used by Satan to deceive the unwary since Constantine. Look for the same divine authority given to every minister of God since Adam. Only this divine authority is capable of washing your sins; and bringing you through the door into the kingdom of God. Only a person holding the Melchizedek Priesthood (Apostle, High Priest, and Elder) has divine authority to preach and administer both baptism of water and of the Spirit. Joseph had given the law of God on prophetic succession-- as related to him and who would be his successor. If he was a true prophet, prior to his death and I believe that he was he would have given information on how to appoint his successor and that would not have been the twelve traveling council.
"And I have given unto him the keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed, even 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, and if not, another will I plant in his stead." (D&C 35:18)
"For I have given him the keys of the mysteries, and the revelations which are sealed, until I shall appoint unto them another in his stead." (D&C 28:7) Not twelve.
"But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me." (D&C 43:4-5-6)
Neither Brigham Young, nor Joseph Smith's son were appointed by Joseph Smith and neither claimed ordination to the prophetic office at the hands of angels. These were the two basic requirements for anyone to make a claim as Joseph Smith's successor. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." (John 10:1-2)
The twelve Apostles as you call them, with Brigham Young as their president, had no authority over the Church in Zion. Their mission (and commission) was to the nations of the world. Their jurisdiction was valid only "under the direction of the Presidency."
"The Twelve are a Traveling Presiding High Council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Presidency of the Church, agreeable to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same in all nations, first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews." (D&C 107:33)
"Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord. But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it; and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not, and is not baptized, shall be damned. For unto you, the Twelve, and those, the First Presidency, who are appointed with you to be your counselors and your leaders, is the power of this priesthood given, for the last days and for the last time, in the which is the dispensation of the fullness of times." (D&C 112: 27-28-29-30)
The president of the church must be called by revelation and ordained at the hands of angels; as only one holding this priesthood can ordain another. Brigham Young did not assume the presidency of the church upon Joseph's death. He was acknowledged only as the president of the twelve Apostles. The twelve, though, were not called to head the church. Their sole authority was to carry the gospel to the nations of the world and not to govern. The quorum of the twelve form only "a quorum" with authority equal to the three presiding high priests quorum and not equal to the first President. "The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world--thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum, equal in authority and power to the three presidents previously mentioned." (D&C 107:23-24)
God appointed to them only to take the gospel to the nations of the world. "Therefore, see to it that ye trouble not yourselves concerning the affairs of my church in this place, saith the Lord. But purify your hearts before me; and then go ye into all the world, and preach my gospel unto every creature who has not received it." (D&C 112:27-28)
After Joseph's death, at a special meeting on August 8, 1844, Brigham Young gave an epistle, "Let no man presume for a moment that his [Joseph's] place will be filled by another; for, remember he stands in his own place, and always will; and the TWELVE APOSTLES of this dispensation stand in their own place and always will, both in time and eternity, to minister, preside and regulate the affairs OF THE WHOLE CHURCH." (Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 618) By what revelation were they called to such authority? The only Lawgiver they recognized was dead.
At a general conference on Oct. 7, 1844, Brigham Young was sustained ONLY as the president of the twelve Apostles. "Elder W. W. Phelps moved that we uphold Brigham Young the president of the quorum of the Twelve, as one of the Twelve and the first presidency of the church...carried unanimously." At a general conference on April 6, 1845, "Elder George A. Smith move, that we acknowledge President Brigham Young as the president of the quorum of the twelve apostles to this church and generation. Carried unanimously" Thirteen persons were sustained as members of the twelve Apostles. At a general conference on October 6, 1845, "Father John Smith, the President of the stake, then arose and presented the TWELVE as the PRESIDENTS of the WHOLE CHURCH; which was seconded and carried unanimously. It was then moved, that Brigham Young be continued and sustained as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; seconded and carried unanimously."
Joseph had previously given a commandment that only a prophet appointed by him, and ordained by the command of God, could give commandments to the church. "O hearken, ye elders of my church, and give ear to the words which I shall speak unto you. For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye have received a commandment for a law unto my church, through him whom I have appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations from my hand. And this ye shall know assuredly--that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, THAT YOU MAY KNOW THEY ARE NOT OF ME." (D&C 43: 1-2-3-4-5-6) As God knew of the coming death of Joseph, He also knew of the usurpation of the twelve.
Just a few statements by Brigham Young, "Who ordained me to be the First President of this church on earth? I answer, it is the choice of this people, and that is sufficient." (Millennial Star, Vol. 16, p. 442)
"I do not profess to be a prophet. I never called myself so; but I actually believe I am, because people are all the time telling me that I am." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 177)
"I will say that I never dictated the latter part of that sentence. I make this remark because those words in that connection always made me feel as though I am called more than I am deserving of. I am Brigham Young, an apostle of Joseph Smith, and also of Jesus Christ. IF I have been profitable to this people I am glad of it. The brethren call me so; and if it be so, I am glad." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 5, p. 296)
"A person was mentioned to-day who did not believe that Brigham Young was a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. I wish to ask every member of this whole community, if they ever heard him profess to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, as Joseph Smith was?...Who ordained me to be First President of this Church on earth? I answer, it is the choice of this people, and that is sufficient." "The brethren testify that Brother Brigham is Brother Joseph's legal successor. You never heard me say so. I say I am a good hand to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 320)
"The brethren testify that Brother Brigham is Brother Joseph's legal successor. You never heard me say so. I say I am a good hand to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 69)
"It has been remarked sometimes, by certain individuals, that President Young has said in public that he was not a prophet nor the son of a prophet." "The brethren testify that Brother Brigham is Brother Joseph's legal successor. You never heard me say so. I say I am a good hand to keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 13, p. 166)
I have used your edition of the Doctrine and Covenants to avoid any confusion on your part. I suggest that you read them and make up your own mind. I wonder by the way who your source is and what he stands to gain by either writing or speaking slander and rubbish. I only recall sending you one letter outlining our beliefs in brief and many of the points that you raise in you letter could only have come by a third party. I think in future that if you wish to know about what we believe you would be best speaking to me and not someone who only thinks he knows what we believe. What you and your companions are doing to me is in the same vain as the persecutors of Joseph and I quote from brother Joseph “The wolves are on the scent” Come and speak to me if you have any questions. You will not find my words in anything that any of your sources have to say. Come to me and I will tell you what I have seen and witnessed. I know Brother Joseph I have spoke with him I have embraced him. I know the Christ I have wept in his presence I have spoken with him. I have seen heavenly messengers and I have heard the voice of the almighty. I have been given sacred records and I have been commanded to translate them. If at any time you wish to come and see me I am more than welcome to have you in my home so that you to can feel the power of the almighty lord and the great work that we are about. I ask you just as you have asked me in not so many words. Repent and come unto Christ. You are my brother after all, we are all sons and daughters of our father are we not. Think on that next time you have something to say about me that is not in keeping with being a Christian. I have never said anything in public or in private that would warrant the kind of abuse that I am receiving at the hands of your so called true church. I’m sure if the Christ were here he would be saddened at your attitude toward my beliefs. You don’t know a thing about me or what I believe. You listen to gossip and hearsay and come to your own conclusion. Perhaps if you truly believed in the truthfulness of your church you would be making a better effort to convert me instead of showing yourself to be what you really are. It is obvious that you are not willing to put your own rhetoric to the test, but I will endeavor one last time. Come out to one of our services, come and talk to me face to face Christian to Christian Mormon to Mormon, come and listen to my testimony of what I have seen and what I have been given. I don’t think you ever will. It is easer for you to listen gossip I think than to truth.
I hope that I am wrong about you.
God bless and keep you
Prophet of God
Posted by The Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ at 8:30 AM
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You are also welcome to join us at our Sunday services, which are held at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday. Contact us for details. God Bless and keep you.