In December 1830, the Lord commands the church to “assemble together at the Ohio” where he would “give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high. (D&C 37:3; D&C 38:32) This, of course, meant that they were to undertake a journey of over 250 miles from New York to Ohio — quite a distance in the horse and buggy era.
Near Kirtland, Ohio, many of Sidney Rigdon’s congregants had accepted the message of the gospel and the Lord chose this place to reveal unto the saints HIS LAW. We know today that The Law was canonized as section 42 of the Doctrine and Covenants and along with the Articles and Covenants of the Church (section 20) were copied and carried by missionaries of the time who went forth to spread the good news of the gospel.
Most distinctly within The Law which the Lord reveals were commandments to live the law of consecration and the law of monogamy:
“And behold, thou wilt remember the poor, and consecrate of thy properties for their support that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.” (D&C 42:30)
“Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.” (D&C 42:22)
There are obviously many other parts of the law and I highly recommend a carefully study of the entire section. Consecration and monogamy stand out most starkly because these two parts of The Law are the one’s the saints failed to obey.
Knowing the importance that the Lord places upon obedience to his law, I decided to do a word search and see what I could find in His other scriptures. Mind you, the term “the law” is very generic and I got lots of hits, but chose to focus on Isaiah and Jeremiah because of what they have to say about the last days. Here are a few samples:
“Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5:24)
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20)
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5)
“This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:” (Isaiah 30:9)
“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it…Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people…” (Jeremiah 6:19-21)
“…the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness…because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;” (Jeremiah 9:12-13)
This is just a small smattering of the scriptures regarding the warnings to the people who would break and reject the Holy Law of the Lord. And indeed, it was the 1830 restored Church of Christ that had the law revealed and ultimately rejected the law.
This should be a very sobering thought to a latter-day people who believe today that they have the fulness of the gospel and yet do not seek to live the Law of the Lord regarding consecration as it was revealed from heaven. We hardly ever hear about it over the pulpit except as it has been redefined by the precepts of men to be:
“…that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion.”
So the law of consecration has been rewritten to mean that you give all you have to the corporate church so they can invest in land, buildings and stock portfolios as opposed to consecrating our properties for the support of the poor, which was the Lord’s primary stated reason for the law.
The corporate church does a masterful job of selling this fiction to the people. In the lesson manual for this year’s study of the Doctrine and Covenants there is a lesson entitled “The Law of Consecration (#14).” Here are a few excerpts:
- What is the law of consecration? (It is an organized way in which individuals consecrate their time, talents, and possessions to the Church to build the Lord’s kingdom and serve His children.)
- Explain that the principles of the law of consecration have not changed since it was revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. However, the application of those principles changes from time to time. The current prophet helps us understand how to apply these principles in our day.
The lesson goes on to explain the true nature of the Lord’s law of consecration and that it is an eternal law (kudos for that). It then explains that we must be prepared and willing to live the law of consecration in its fulness, but that we do not need to wait for a future day to consecrate our lives to the Lord. “As we do all we can to live the law of consecration today, we will be better prepared to live the fulness of the law when the Lord asks us to do so.”
In other words, we are waiting for the Lord to tell us to live the law which he has already given us and condemned us for not living in the first place. All the while we believe that we have the fulness of the gospel and all the blessings that are attendant thereto. You can’t have it both ways people! The law of the celestial kingdom requires equality in temporal and spiritual things. We can’t have the fulness without living the true law of consecration. Period.
Rationalizations and the precepts of men have taken over the Law of the Lord which is plain, simple and clear. In our next installment we will examine many of the ways in which the corporate church does not follow the scriptures even though the Lord says plainly in Section 42:59-60 that His Church is to be governed by the scriptures.