Earlier this week I was doing one of my typical word searches in the scriptures, in this case on lds.org, and discovered something unbelievable. Something that suggests the LDS church is filtering scriptural searches on their website so that certain references don’t come up. It suggests active attempts to prevent the casual searcher from coming across information that does not reflect kindly on the claims of the modern church.
Here’s what I did. In the search bar on lds.org I inserted the word “restoration.” Ten scriptures came up in the D&C. As I looked through the list I could not find a reference to D&C 77:15, a scripture I have known about for some time which refers to the two prophets who would preach to the Jews “at the time of the restoration.” Why on earth would this scripture be excluded? I checked my spelling to make sure I hadn’t made a typing mistake. I went to section 77 (which can be accessed on lds.org if you just go directly to it) and typed the exact phrase from verse 15 in the search bar “at the time of the restoration.” Nothing came up with that phrase! Now I am really curious. How about a search on any number of other key words and phrases from section 77?
I proceeded to do a search on the following terms all of which are embedded in D&C 77: sea of glass; sanctified; four beasts; figurative; felicity; seven seals; hidden; four angels; Elias; trumpets; and, two prophets.
SECTION 77 NEVER COMES UP!
Let that sink in for a minute. It NEVER EVER comes up. Someone has decided to exclude section 77 from the results of all scriptural searches on the LDS church’s official website. I wanted to think that this could just have been a coincidence, but the evidence was overwhelming for a deliberate exclusion by someone in church headquarters.
As another blogger is known to say (shout out to you Watcher):
Why? What is contained in Section 77 that is so dangerous to the narrative of the LDS church? What’s in there that would potentially provoke a decision to try to hide information that is plainly manifest in the scriptures.
Section 77 is a bit different than most revelations in the D&C. What makes it unique is that the entire section is a question and answer session between Joseph and the Lord about various verses in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. The only other example of this question and answer format in the D&C is section 113. As a test, I also ran searches on key words in section 113 and discovered that indeed, they did show up. The church is not blocking search results for section 113.
In section 77, verse 8 is the first area that could cause serious indigestion for the modern corporate church.
8. Q. What are we to understand by the four angels, spoken of in the 7th chapter and 1st verse of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the everlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to shut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.
As we can see, Revelation 7:1 is referring to four angels who commit the everlasting gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people in the last days. Importantly, they have the sealing power to seal up individuals unto eternal life, or to damn those who do not repent.
Contrast this with what is taught in the church that:
- The church has the everlasting gospel to commit to the world
- The church is spreading the everlasting gospel through it’s missionary program
- The church is the sole custodian of the sealing power via the chosen 15.
- Via the “2nd Endowment” selected members are sealed up unto eternal life and themselves given the sealing power. (This doctrine is not openly taught, but is reported to be taking place in temples under the personal administration of one of the Twelve).
What Revelation 7:1 and the explanation given by the Lord in section 77 DOES NOT say is that the current leaders of the Lord’s people will continue to grow the ranks of the elect and dispense the everlasting gospel and administer the sealing power prior to the Lord’s return in glory. The foregoing is largely the narrative taught by the corporate church. This scripture seriously calls that into doubt which is why it could be seen as a serious threat.
9. Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?
A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.
This verse refers to an angel (resurrected person) who is identified as Elias (Elijah) the restorer who will be instrumental in sealing the servants of God (making their calling and election sure) prior to Christ’s return. There are all sorts of heartburn-inducing truths taught in this verse. It confirms that:
- Elijah the restorer must return to gather the tribes of Israel. In other words, the modern church is not the one to gather the tribes of Israel.
- This Elijah will oversee the dispensing of the sealing power, not the chosen 15.
- The true purpose of sealing has nothing to do with marriage. Contrast this with church teachings that “families are forever” and that we need to seal families together via temple ordinances. I have addressed what the scriptures teach about sealing in a previous blog post accessible here.
Joseph taught “How shall God come to the rescue of this generation? He will send Elijah the prophet…” Notice the future tense of “will send” as Joseph taught this long after the appearance of Elijah in the Kirtland Temple. Section 77 is another witness to the futurity of these events.
11. Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel—twelve thousand out of every tribe?
A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.
Verse 11 teaches that the angels previously mentioned will ordain 144,000 high priests to administer the everlasting gospel and bring people in the last days into Christ’s true church. The modern corporate church claims to have the fulness of the priesthood and routinely ordains high priests within its ranks. Instead, this scripture clarifies that the restoration of priesthood power will be from heaven-sent messengers, not from the current leaseholders of the Lord’s vineyard in SLC.
This doctrine is corroborated by D&C 113:7-8:
7 Questions by Elias Higbee: What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?
8 He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.
Finally, the zinger and the beginning of my scripture search which sent me down this rabbit hole.
15. Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation?
A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews after they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.
Verse 15 clearly places the “restoration” in the future. No one I know in any sector of the religious community is arguing that this prophecy about the two prophets has been fulfilled. I have written in a previous blogpost about how the marvelous work is a future event. Those additional evidences can be accessed here.
One can see how troubling this could be to church leadership. It contradicts the story we have all been told about the restoration happening at the time of Joseph Smith. It directly challenges the timelines and narratives of the church. It challenges the authority claims of the church.
Further, this should be a cautionary warning to those who believe that we need to “preserve the restoration.” While I appreciate and love those who are seeking for Zion, the scriptures make it clear that it will not be rebuilt organically. Messengers are to return with true priesthood power to usher in the Lord’s “Strange Act” and “Marvelous Work.” Understanding these things will prevent you from being led astray by voices who would convince you otherwise.
Finally, I would be intensely curious to see if anyone else has a similar experience with the church website. Clearly the church wants to direct you to certain scriptures because they always sort by “relevance” rather than by “book” and you can’t change that default setting. You have to go in and change it every time you do a search. Very annoying! Do they really think they can get away with this?